Saudi guards' bravery deserves praise: paper

(MENAFN- Emirates News Agency (WAM)) This week's attack on the Saudi border is a significant example of the threat that all nation states in the Middle East face as terrorists seek to generate destablisation and confusion in order to further their own destructive aims, according to a UAE daily.

"This attack was a small-scale infiltration, but it killed three Saudis and points to a dangerous future when larger operations may be planned by the extremists. Saudi Arabia is an active member of the 50-nation coalition against Daesh and has a direct border with Daesh-occupied territories in Iraq's Anbar province," said Gulf News in its editorial on Wednesday.

It continued, "Therefore, the Saudis have made substantial efforts to strengthen their border security in order to stop Daesh extremists infiltrating their state. It is a mark of the alertness of the Saudi border forces that when the small group of four men tried to cross the border illegally this week, they were quickly spotted by the border guards." All four infiltrators immediately opened fire on the Saudi forces, and in the exchange, three infiltrators were shot dead and another detonated an explosives belt he was wearing. No group has claimed responsibility for the four men, and it is not clear if they were just trying to attack the guards, or infiltrate further into Saudi Arabia.

The bravery of the border guards is to be greatly commended. Three lost their lives, including Brigadier General Oudah Al Balawi, and three others were wounded. The Saudis have created a 20-km deep buffer zone inside their 1,200 km border with Iraq, and they have deployed thousands of troops on the border. They have received a few mortar attacks but such a direct assault as this week's has been rare.

"It is agreed by all states in the Arab world that the savagery of Daesh has to be exterminated. Most of the attention is on Iraq where coalition forces have stopped Daesh's advance and are preparing to advance and reclaim the lost territories. But it is also vital to contain Daesh and ensure that it is not able to spread. This means that border forces of Saudi Arabia and other neighbouring countries are serving in the front line as much as the troops in Iraq", concluded the daily.

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