Monday, 15 Safar 1441 / 14 October 2019

Monday, 15 Safar 1441 / 14 October 2019

Danger ahead, Gulf states push for joint missile defence

Kamis 21 Jan 2016 06:32 WIB

Red: Julkifli Marbun

Iran's underground missile force

Iran's underground missile force

Foto: internet

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, MANAMA -- Gulf Arab states are cooperating on regional missile defence and hope to announce the results soon, a Bahraini officer said on Wednesday, suggesting progress in long-stalled efforts to create a cross-border approach to counter Iran and unending bloody conflict with Shi'a Houthi rebels in Yemen both with missile capabilities.

Past attempts have stumbled due to strains within the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) but U.S. and Gulf officials say the time has come to push ahead as Arab nations start to mount more joint military missions.

Reported by Reuters, Hamad Al Khalifah, commander of the Royal Bahraini Air Force, said on the sidelines of an air force conference that a GCC committee was working in a cooperative effort to build joint missile defence.

"We have started, and hopefully it (the result) will be announced soon," he said in answer to questions, without elaborating.

Last year, Sky News reported, GCC are in negotiations to buy the Israeli-developed Iron Dome anti-missile system.
The Israeli weapon, which has reduced the effectiveness of rockets fired out of Gaza into Israel by about 90% would be bought through Raytheon and other American contractors who developed the Iron Dome with Israeli arms giant Rafael.

Khalid bin Mohammed al Khalifa, Bahrain's foreign minister said on the visit to London: "The Israelis have their small Iron Dome. We'll have a much bigger one in the GCC."

Led by Saudi Arabia, GCC nations are locked in a bloody conflict with Shi'a Houthi rebels in the Yemen which western and Gulf intelligence sources insist are backed by Tehran.

The GCC's fears of an Iranian threat increasing when sanctions are lifted has been further deepened by Tehran's growing alliance with Moscow which, like Iran, has come to the military defence of the government of Bashar al Assad in Syria.

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