Tue Aug 8, 2017 05:12PM
In this file photo, jet fighters of the Royal Saudi Air Force perform during the graduation ceremony of the 83rd batch of King Faisal Air Academy. (Photo by AFP)
In this file photo, jet fighters of the Royal Saudi Air Force perform during the graduation ceremony of the 83rd batch of King Faisal Air Academy. (Photo by AFP)

The Royal Saudi Air Force has sent air and technical crews as well as multi-role fighter aircraft to the United States to take part in an advanced aerial combat training exercise hosted at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Lieutenant Colonel Khalid al-Yousef, the commander of the Saudi team that will participate in the Exercise Red Flag, said pilots and other flight crew members from countries with the best air force systems are set to participate in the Red Flag and Green Flag exercises in order to maximize their readiness for real air combat situations, Arabic-language al-Khaleeg online newspaper reported.

Yousef added that the purpose of the upcoming large-scale aerial exercises is to enhance the survivability of participants through very realistic aerial war games, and give them the chance to exchange ideas.

Lieutenant Colonel Badr bin Eid al-Fayidi, Assistant Commandant of the Royal Saudi Air Force, also said the air-to-air combat exercises have been held since 1975, and Saudi air crews have participated in the Red and Green Flag exercises six times in a row.

He added that the first stage of the military drills will kick off on Wednesday.

On May 20, the United States and Saudi Arabia signed arms deals worth almost $110 billion. It was the first day of President Donald Trump's visit to the oil-rich kingdom.

US President Donald Trump, left, and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud take part in a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 20, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The deal came at the start of Trump's eight-day foreign tour that took him to the Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, the Vatican and meetings with leaders in Europe.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s participation in the Red Flag and Green Flag exercises comes at a time the Riyadh regime has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstate the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement. The Riyadh regime has, however, failed to reach its goals despite suffering great expenses.

The military aggression has claimed the lives of more than 12,000 people, mostly civilians.

People hold a wheelchair recovered from under the wreckage of a house at the site of a Saudi airstrike on the outskirt of the northwestern city of Sa’ada, Yemen, on August 4, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Resident Representative in Yemen, Meritxell Relano, wrote in a Twitter post on Monday that 201 Yemeni children - 152 boys and 49 girls - have lost their lives and hundreds more sustained injuries in the Saudi-led strikes since the beginning of the current year.

She noted that 347 Yemeni children, including 113 girls, have been maimed as a result of the Yemeni conflict, and that 377 boys have been recruited in the ongoing fighting there this year.