Saudi Arabia deploys 30,000 soldiers to border with Iraq

Dubai-based satellite channel Al Arabiya said the move comes after Iraqi soldiers withdrew, leaving the border unguarded.

Saudi Arabia has deployed 30,000 soldiers to its border with Iraq after Iraqi soldiers withdrew from the area, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said on Thursday.

The world's top oil exporter shares an 800km border with Iraq, where Islamic State insurgents and other Sunni Muslim militant groups seized towns and cities in a lightning advance last month.

King Abdullah has ordered all necessary measures to protect the kingdom against potential "terrorist threats", state news agency SPA reported on Thursday.

The Dubai-based Al Arabiya said on its website that Saudi troops fanned into the border region after Iraqi government forces abandoned positions, leaving the Saudi and Syrian frontiers unprotected.

The satellite channel said it had obtained a video showing some 2,500 Iraqi soldiers in the desert area east of the Iraqi city of Karbala after pulling back from the border.

An officer in the video aired by Al Arabiya said that the soldiers had been ordered to quit their posts without justification. The authenticity of the recording could not immediately be verified.

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Posted by: tfg

Saudi quietly spends 60 billion on its army. 4th biggest spender behind US, Russia, and China.

Military hardware is a mixture of US, European, and Chinese.

This is going to be similar to what was done to the Hoothi rebels in the border with Yemen just 4 years ago.

Posted by: Red Snappa

Looking at this from an AB 'raison d'etre' point of view, the fact that Saudi Arabia's security feels sufficiently threatened for it to deploy 30,000 troops along its border with Iraq, is likely to damage stock and property markets, not to mention tourism across the near-region.

It is no longer the Arabtec factor, but the crumbling of Iraq factor that we have to worry about, from a business perspective in the equities market. And of course all direct flights from the region into the US and Europe are now under the security microscope as a result of credible threat reports, which ain't good for the civil aviation industry.

Time to batten down the financial hatches perhaps??

Posted by: Ahmed Ali

Glad I dont own property in Dubai. When ISIS takes over, what will that be worth?

Posted by: Matt Williams

Yes just like everyone else is funding every other war by proxy, tell us something we don't already know.

Posted by: Doug

Interesting - given ISIS has essentially been a Sunni movement taking on Iranian-backed Shias, you can draw your own conclusions about where they were getting their funding from. And now they've declared themselves to be a caliphate and effectively declared war on all the nation states in the region.

Oh well, it's amusing to see someone other than the Americans find out that secretly funding a terrorist group can lead to some quite inconvenient consequences.

Posted by: chalky6766

I cannot for one second blame them for doing this and making sure that their border is secure, the very last thing they or anyone needs now is any kind of escalation into KSA.

Posted by: chalky6766

@procan - I agree I dont think they had the luxury of going through any kind of elongated diplomatic route re US support for eg, as they just don't have the time. US support is there but will be very behind the scenes.

Posted by: procan

chalky6766... agree secured borders are a must for any county what makes me pleased is that it is KSA military is defending there own borders and not foreign troops. This a good lesson for other Middle East nations .

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