Saudi Arabia and France Defense Forces Hold Joint Military Exercises Titled 'Santol 2'

Saudi Arabia and France Defense Forces Hold Joint Military Exercises Titled 'Santol 2'
Saudi and French ground forces begin ‘Santol 2’

International Military - The defense forces of Saudi Arabia and France began joint military exercises in the northwestern part of the Kingdom. This was reported by the official work news agency, Saudi Press Agency, Thursday (9/6/2022). "Entitled 'Santol 2', the Royal Saudi Army (RSLF) and the French Armed Forces train together to increase combat readiness, gain more field experience and work to unify military concepts," SPA reported.

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Assistant Commander of the Northwest region for Operational Affairs, Major General Khalid bin Mohammed al-Khashrami said the multi-day exercise was aimed at strengthening ties of cooperation and joint action, and exchanging experiences in the military field.

"This exercise contributes to enhancing the military's combat capability and improving coordination between the Saudi armed forces and the friendly French armed forces," he explained.

Soldiers reportedly used live ammunition and simulators for training. The two countries have strong diplomatic relations. French President Emmanuel Macron has previously worked with Saudi leaders to work together to resolve the economic crisis in Lebanon.

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He visited the Kingdom as part of a Gulf tour in December, becoming the first major Western leader to do so since 2018. According to the SPA report, Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea littoral states including Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen recently it completed joint military exercises in early June.

The mission, similar to Santol 2 “increases combat preparedness” and contributes to “enhancement of security capabilities to protect regional and international seas and waterways and ensure maritime navigation in the Red Sea”.

Late last month, the Saudi Air Force took part in exercises with F-15 C/SA jets while the US Air Force brought in F-16 and F-18 fighters. “The joint venture helps in developing their capabilities and in increasing efficiency and enhancing cooperation to meet challenges,” reports SPA.

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