Saudi Arabia Brandishes “Abdullah’s Sword”: The Significance of the “Largest” Saudi Military Maneuver from a Yemeni Perspective
On Tuesday, Apr. 29, 2014, the Saudi armed forces concluded a 15-day military maneuvers and training dubbed “Abdullah’s Sword.” This military exercise was described as the largest of its kind carried out by Riyadh. Saudi media said that more than 130,000 soldiers took part in the exercise with the participation of a large number of planes, ships, helicopters, land equipment, combat vehicles, tanks and anti-aircraft missile systems. The Northern, Eastern and Southern military commands took part in the maneuvers, which were run by the defense center and which is considered the main center for the Saudi military decision-making activities. This paper tries to explore Yemen’s point of view towards this latest Saudi military exercise and the nature of the assessment reached by the political and military decision-making circles in Yemen. The paper points out that the views of the various Yemeni circles towards the “Abdullah’s Sword” exercise, which received huge media coverage, were different from the official Saudi framework of maneuvers, due to the contradictory messages sensed by the Yemeni side.