16:31 GMT +314 November 2019
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    Rocket is launched from a new Israeli anti-missile system known as Iron Dome. (File)

    Saudis Reportedly Interested in Bolstering Defense With Israel's Iron Dome

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    Saudi military experts allegedly examined the Israeli military technology in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, amid reports that Israelis and Saudis are planning to join efforts in their standoff against Iran.

    The prominent Swiss daily Basler Zeitung wrote that the Saudis seem to be interested in purchasing Israel's anti-missile Iron Dome system to stop attacks launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

    The Basler Zeitung report suggests that Riyadh’s "European weapons dealers" are considering the purchase of such military products as the Israeli Trophy Active Protection System (APS), which was specially developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Elta Group of Israel Aerospace Industries.

    READ MORE: 'US Clearly Trying to Promote Policy Agenda of Its Own' — Analyst

    The vehicle-mounted system is capable of detecting threats and eliminating incoming missiles and rockets with a shotgun-like blast. 

    Although there is no plausible data about whether there are diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the Swiss newspaper suggested there was "further progress" in the field, citing observers in Tel Aviv and Riyadh. A desire to counter increasing Iranian influence in the region, feared by both countries, could lie behind the cooperation. Earlier, there was a string of reports about covert Israeli-Saudi liaisons.

    In November 2017, Chief of Staff of the Israeli military, Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot, said Tel Aviv was well prepared "to exchange experiences with moderate Arab countries and exchange intelligence to confront Iran." The Israeli minister of military affairs voiced the same stance:

    "The Middle East today needs, more than anything else, a coalition of moderate states against Iran. The coalition against Daesh [terror outfit] has finished its work, after Daesh, Iran," Avigdor Lieberman said.

    Separately, Saudi Arabia has presumably wanted to upgrade its defense capabilities to counter missile attacks by Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, the report read.

    The Houthi militants are known to retaliate against the Riyadh-led coalition war on Yemen by firing makeshift ballistic missiles into Saudi locations.

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    Tags:
    Active Protection System (APS), Iron Dome, Houthi rebels, missile defense, missiles, Iran, Israel, Riyadh, Dubai, Tel Aviv, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia
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