A strong deterrent force under a unified military command of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will be made up of 100,000 personnel including combat soldiers, National Guard Minister Prince Miteb bin Abdullah has announced.
Prince Miteb made the remarks during a meeting with the top brass following military exercises conducted by the National Guard in different parts of the Kingdom.
He said the GCC unified military command would be set up soon with the mission to deter and respond to any possible act of aggression against any member state of the GCC.
The National Guard is ready to extend all help to this process, said Prince Miteb.
The GCC has already decided to locate the headquarters of the new military command in Riyadh.
Abdullatif Al-Zayani, GCC secretary-general, said recently that Saudi Arabia, which hosts the 40,000-member Peninsula Shield, was deemed the most feasible location for the command.
The GCC member states set up the Peninsula Shield force in 1982.
Addressing a meeting of the GCC Joint Defense Council in Bahrain recently, Al-Zayani said the joint military command would bolster the GCC’s defense capabilities amid threats from neighboring countries.
Sharif Al-Rubian, a political analyst, said the GCC move is significant in view of regional tension and the changing positions of Western nations on key issues confronting the Middle East, especially the Gulf states
“Moreover, the affluent Gulf region holds 60 percent of the world’s conventional proven oil reserves and roughly 40 percent of gas reserves… for which security is of paramount importance,” said Al-Rubian.
The Peninsula Shield has its base at King Khalid Military City near Hafr Al-Batin in the Eastern Province.
The National Guard is one of the three branches of the armed forces of Saudi Arabia.
The National Guard, under the control and leadership of Prince Miteb, serves both as a defense force against external attack and as a security force deterring internal threats.
Its duties also include guarding strategic facilities and providing safety and security in Makkah and Madinah.

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