U.S. and Gulf Arab officials discuss military cooperation against Iran, Houthi threats

U.S. and Gulf Arab officials discuss military cooperation against Iran, Houthi threats

Shafaq News/ On Wednesday, U.S. and Gulf Arab military officials met in Riyadh to discuss cooperation against common threats from Iran and its proxies, including Yemen's Houthi rebels, according to a senior Pentagon official.

The meetings, led by Assistant Secretary for Military Affairs at Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Secretariat General Major General Issa Rashid Al Mohannadi And U.S. Senior Advisor for Regional Integration in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Dan Shapiro, focused on enhancing multilateral cooperation and integration to counter air and maritime threats.

"These discussions are more important than ever before, given the current challenging environment, which is one of the most challenging we've seen in recent years," the Pentagon official said in an unclassified briefing.

He pointed to the "growing threat" from Iran's proxies, particularly attacks since last October in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan, as well as Houthi attacks in the Red Sea.

The official said the U.S.-GCC Maritime Security Working Group would focus on Houthi attacks.

"We look forward to expanding our cooperation with Gulf partners to address the Houthi threat, and we are confident that the region can do more to counter this group," he said.

The official added that the Houthis had acquired sophisticated weapons capable of reaching the Mediterranean Sea but noted that no attack had yet been observed in that area.

He said the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Working Group was particularly important in light of Iran's missile and drone attack on Israel last April.

"The United States, in cooperation with its partners, was able to thwart the Iranian attack, which highlights the value of integrated air and missile defense," he said.

The official stressed that Iran's destabilizing and dangerous behavior has driven further cooperation among U.S. partners and added momentum to the U.S.-Gulf Arab working group meetings.

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