Arab military chiefs will meet this week in Cairo to discuss the forming of a joint military force to fight the region’s growing extremist threat, an Arab League official said Sunday.
After Arab League leaders agreed to create such a force at a March summit in Egypt, army chiefs from member states will hold talks on Wednesday on details of how the force will be created, its role and its financing, a League source told AFP.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pushed for the creation of the force after the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group executed a group of Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya in February, prompting retaliatory air strikes from Egypt.
The plan gained further momentum after Egypt announced readiness to participate in the US-Saudi military campaign on Yemen, along with several Arab allies.
A coalition of 10 countries, led by the Saudi Arabia and supported financially and militarily by the United States, launched a wide military offensive on Yemen, killing 20 civilians in one attack, wounding hundreds and causing so much destruction across the state.
Media outlets reported that Saudi Arabia has deployed “100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and other navy units” for the military campaign against Yemen. It also sent 5000 takfiri terrorists to fight against the Yemeni army.
The national military – supported by the Popular Committees – has launched a wide-scale campaign in the attack-hit areas, and managed to drive al-Qaeda and ISIL terrorists out of main neighborhoods of Aden and Sanaa.
US President Barack Obama authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to the military operations, National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said late on March 25.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is known for training and funding takfiri groups and sending them to the conflict-hit zones in the Arab and Muslim world, including Syria, Afghanistan and now in Yemen.