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Saudi war games indicate regime’s nervousness: Commentator

Royal Saudi Navy Al Riyadh-class frigate HMS Al-Dammam (816) maneuvers into position, with its embarked AS565 SA Dauphin helicopter circling overhead. (File photo)

Saudi Arabia’s war games in the Persian Gulf are indicative of “uncertainty, nervousness and lack of direction” on the part of the Saudi royal family, says an author and political commentator.

“I believe that the Saudi regime has been erratic … Internally the kingdom is going through tough times. We know that there are salary cuts and we know that they have failed in Syria and they have failed in different places where they tried to impact the events in the region,” Naseer al-Omari told Press TV.

He went on to say the military aggression against Yemen was a “horrendous decision” and a “bad calculation,” adding that the Saudis are going nowhere in this war and their own borders in the south are threatened as a result of the intervention.

The Saudi military has held war games in the waters of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issued a stern warning to all military vessels partaking in Saudi Arabia's ongoing war games, noting that any act of transgression into Iran's territorial waters shall be met with a swift and befitting response.

A strongly-worded statement, addressed to all Saudi and non-Saudi naval vessels that are part of the maneuvers, suggested that the IRGC views the maneuvers as an evident attempt to foment tensions and compromise security in the Persian Gulf.

Saudi Arabia's exercises involve units of the Royal Saudi Navy Forces of Eastern Fleet, including warships, naval aircraft and special security naval units.

Omari further stated that the Saudis are under a lot of pressure from the US over the September 11, 2001 attacks and it is not surprising that they take it out on their neighbors as they have done repeatedly. 

He also noted the Saudi regime is facing serious internal problems and is trying to “export” them.

“The Saudi people have disagreement with the Saudi royal family … The Saudi people feel like the economy is weak, they do not have any sense of certainty about their personal finances and they feel like the royal family is taking them into all these wars that are not going anywhere and they had no reason to go into Yemen,” he said.

Saudi Arabia, once known for its lavish public spending, has been hit hard by low oil prices and a costly military operation against Yemen, where at least 10,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured.

The kingdom is facing a budget deficit of nearly $100 billion caused by the sharp slump in oil prices as well as Riyadh’s rising army expenditure, a large amount of which is being funneled into the military campaign against its southern neighbor.

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