34-state coalition announced to combat terrorism, with operations center to be created in Riyadh; “Palestine” listed as state in alliance
Saudi Arabia announced the creation of a 34-state Islamic military alliance to combat terrorism Tuesday. The announcement comes just a week after a two-day conference was held in the nation’s capital, the meeting centered on Syria and possible resolutions and peace talks with Assad’s regime.
According to Saudi media and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), a joint operations center will be created in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh, the coalition to include such states as Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Turkey, Chad, Togo, Tunisia, Djibouti, Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Gabon, Guinea, Comoros, Qatar, Cote d’Ivoire, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Maldives, Mali, Malaysia, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Yemen. “Palestine” was additionally listed as one of the 34 states part of the coalition.
A statement released from Saudi Arabia states “The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” with the “ duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organizations whatever their sect and name which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorize the innocent’ based on “the principles and objectives of the charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which calls for member states to cooperate to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and rejects all justifications and excuses for terrorism.”
The statement goes on “Achieving integration, closing ranks and uniting efforts to combat terrorism, which violates the sanctity of people’s lives, threatens regional and international security and peace, poses a threat to the vital interests of the nation and undermines coexistence in it.”
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman stated that the alliance will hold joint operations to “coordinate and support military operations to fight terrorism” in the Middle East region.