Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat—Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz launched Phase I of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ project for border security on Friday during a joint press conference with Bahraini monarch King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa.
Saudi Arabia is seeking to fortify its borders to safeguard the Kingdom against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), whose fighters are advancing in neighboring Iraq. According to local reports, Saudi Arabia deployed thousands of extra troops to its northern border with Iraq last month, setting up high-tech infrared cameras and radar systems along the 850 km border.
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ project for border security will see the establishment of eight command and control centers along the Saudi border staffed by more than 4,000 security officers. Riyadh will also establish 32 debriefing centers where suspects caught seeking to infiltrate the country can be held and questioned. The project also includes the establishment of three highly-trained rapid response units who will be able to deal with events as they unfold on the ground.
Saudi Arabia will also erect 38 communication and 40 surveillance towers along its various borders, in addition to establishing an additional 85 surveillance posts. The project will see the deployment of 50 24-hour surveillance cameras and the laying of 1.4 million meters of fiber optic cable to assist in communication.
Riyadh is also set to establish a 900 km security fence, as well as other barriers and security checkpoints along its borders, to deal with drug and arms traffickers, as well as terrorist suspects.
Earlier this month, Saudi Border Guards’ spokesman Gen. Mohammed Saad Al-Ghamdi stressed that the Kingdom’s northern border with Iraq is secure, highlighting the state-of-the-art security and surveillance equipment that has been deployed there.