Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman speaks during a news conference in Riyadh December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Saudi Press Agency/Handout
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Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that 34 nations have agreed to form a new "Islamic military alliance" to fight terrorism with a joint operations center in the kingdom, but the coalition does not include Shiite-majority Iran or Iraq, and it's not clear how exactly it would function.It is also part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman told a news conference that the new coalition will develop mechanisms for working with other countries and international bodies to support counterterrorism efforts.The new counterterrorism coalition includes nations with large and established armies such as Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt, as well as war-torn countries like Libya and Yemen.Smaller member-states included in the coalition are the archipelago of the Maldives and the Gulf Arab island-nation of Bahrain, which is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.Benin, while it does not have a Muslim majority, is a member of the new coalition. All the group's members are also part of the larger Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is headquartered in Saudi Arabia.
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