JEDDAH (AA) – Naval forces from seven Red Sea countries started a joint military drill in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Sunday, according to Saudi Arabia’s official SPA news agency.
The Red Wave 2 exercise includes forces from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, Djibouti, Yemen and Somalia.
The exercise “aims to unify and enhance the maritime security of the countries bordering the Red Sea, protect territorial waters and strengthen military cooperation,'' Commander of the Saudi Western Fleet Vice Admiral Saqr bin Mohammed Al-Harbi said.
He added that the drill also aims to enhance cooperation and standardization of military concepts, raise combat readiness and exchange experiences between the participating countries.
The exercise comes amid tension in the Gulf after drones hit two oil facilities in the north of Saudi Arabia on Sept. 14.
Yemen’s Houthi rebel group initially claimed responsibility for the attack, but the U.S. has since blamed Iran, as has Saudi Arabia. Tehran has denied any connection to the strikes.