Arab Media: Saudis on Heighted Military Alert Amid Regional Chaos

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Mosa'ab Elshamy/Associated Press

JAFFA, Israel — Major security preparations are underway in Saudi Arabia, according to Arab media reports, in light of the hazy political and security situation in the region.

The international Arab newspaper Alai Alyoum reported that the Saudi Arabian army and elite forces in the Kingdom have dramatically increased their level of military preparedness. According to the newspaper, military forces together with the Saudi Royal Guard and other elite units have taken a slew of preventative and other security measures in the last few days, all surrounded by layers of secrecy.

Alai Alyoum reported that Saudi Arabia took action in order to prepare for any possible scenario in light of reports that strategic rockets and missiles have fallen into the hands of the forces fighting Saudi Arabia in Yemen. According to the report, a system of air defenses has been deployed around all the main cities in Saudi Arabia in a highly unusual move, particularly in the capital of Riyadh and the city of Jizan.

Meanwhile, Egypt has remained silent regarding an announcement from the Russian Defense Ministry that Russia and Egypt are planning joint military maneuvers to be held in Egypt.

Egyptian military sources refused to respond to the Russian announcement. One Egyptian military source settled for the vague response: “When there is something to report, we’ll report it.”

However, the Egyptian president’s office denied a Russian report that Egypt agreed to lease a military base to Russia in Egypt’s northeast. Egyptian presidential spokesman Alaa Youssef said, “We won’t allow foreign military bases on Egyptian beaches.”

Egypt’s denial addressed Russian media reports that Russia and Egypt are conducting advanced negotiations that could see Egypt allow Russia to rebuild Egyptian bases in the area of Sidi Brani in the north west of the country on the Mediterranean coast.

According to the Russian reports, one of the bases would be adopted as a Russian Air Force base after it opens in 2019.