India and Saudi Arabia conclude their inaugural joint military exercise today.
The 12-day exercise, named “Sada Tanseeq”, commenced on January 29th and was aimed at enhancing interoperability between the Indian Army and the Royal Saudi Land Force. The two forces also acquired knowledge on procedures for conducting operations in sub-conventional domains, in compliance with UN regulations.
The joint army drills were conducted in two phases. The first phase consisted of combat conditioning and tactical training, while the second phase consisted of physical exercises like establishing mobile check posts, cordon and search operations, house interventions alongside reflex shooting and sniper exercises.
Overall, the military drills have been conducted within the geopolitical backdrop of the ongoing Israel-Gaza conflict. Unlike Riyadh, New Delhi has maintained a relatively pro-Israeli posture towards the conflict where its criticisms towards Israel have been relatively muted. Therefore, given Riyadh’s longstanding political support towards Palestine, the drills can be perceived as a military gesture aimed at both, reinforcing defence ties between the two states aswell as a means to assuage Riyadh amidst New Delhi’s deepening ties with Israel. By doing the latter, it aims to minimize any diplomatic fallout with the Arab state while preserving its political ties with Israel.
Jasmine is an analyst that writes for the Daily Brief.