The military and intelligence cooperation developed between Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, and Israel is directed against Iran, Hizballah and ISIS, the relationship runs much deeper than estimated in the US and Europe.
This cooperation is in seven fields:
1. The Saudi and Israeli intelligence services exchange information on Iran’s military nuclear program and on developments in its laboratories and other facilities.
2. There is a strong emphasis on bilateral intelligence and operational cooperation regarding Iran’s ballistic missile program, which both Riyadh and Jerusalem see as the main Iranian threat.
- Exchange of intelligence information on bases and movements of Iranian missile units
- Exchange of information on Iranian factories for manufacturing and assembling missiles
- Exchange of information on Iran’s underground missile silos including their exact locations
- Installation of Israeli missile defense systems in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and training of teams from the two countries to operate the systems
- Saudi, Israeli and UAE teams are preparing operational plans on how their air forces and missile units can cooperate in attacking Iranian missile bases in time of war
- Exchange of intelligence information on engineers and physicists connected to the Iranian missile development programs
- Use of cyber warfare against the Iranian missile network
- Israeli naval vessels are taking up position in the Red Sea to fend off ISIS accesses from Egyptian Sinai to Saudi Arabia and the twin ports of Eilat, Israel and Aqaba, Jordan.
3. For the war in Syria, Saudi, Jordanian and Israeli intelligence services share data on Syrian rebel groups.
4. Saudi Arabia and Israel also share intel on ethnic and religious minorities within Iran or other countries in the region. These include Iranian opposition groups, ranging from civil society organizations to Iranian Azeris seeking greater autonomy, and the Arab minority in Khuzistan province of southern Iran, the country’s primary oil-producing region.
DEBKA Weekly’s intelligence sources report that Saudi intelligence has expanded its activities among the Jundallah movement, also known as the People’s Resistance Movement of Iran, which operates out of Pakistan’s Baluchistan region.
In March, the commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, said “Saudi Arabia is our enemy, not Israel.” Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of the IRGC’s al Quds Brigades and of Iranian forces in Syria and Iraq, recently claimed the Saudi regime is “illegitimate”.
5. Intelligence cooperation regarding Hizballah. As the dispute between Saudi Arabia and the Shiite terrorist organization intensified during the last few months, Riyadh and Jerusalem deepened their intelligence cooperation in this field.
6. Saudi Arabia and Israel also swap intel on ISIS operations in Iraq, Syria, Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula.
7. Scientific exchanges between Persian Gulf countries and Israel on issues including water security.