Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have launched joint naval drills aimed at boosting the two allies’ combat preparedness.
The drill named ‘Bridge 18’ is taking place in waters of the Arabian Gulf.
It involves control operations in territorial seas, protection of vital and important installations and main waterways in the area, conducting drills with live ammunition, counterterrorism, surveying and reconnaissance operations, diving exercises and sea landing operations on coasts and beaches, reports say.
Saudi Arabia is taking part in the maneuver with its Eastern Fleet.
The drill is taking place at a time their common ally, the USA, has decided to halt all joint exercises in the region in a bid to favor a solution for the diplomatic crisis opposing Qatar on one side and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt on the other side.
The Saudi-led group has accused Qatar of funding terrorism.
“We will continue to encourage all partners to work together toward the sort of common solutions that enable security and stability in the region,” Colonel John Thomas from the US central command said last week.
The Associated Press said the decision could affect the “Eagle Resolve” maneuver, which has been in place since 1999.
Kuwait, which has adopted a neutral stance in the Gulf crisis, has hosted this year’s “Eagle Resolve” drill.