Bahrain’s foreign minister says Gulf states are launching a joint military command based in Saudi Arabia to counter threats from militant jihadis and Shia Iran.

Sheikh Khalid al-Khalifa said the joint command force, which analysts say will eventually have several hundred thousand soldiers under its control, would begin military operations after a Gulf Co-operation Council summit due to take place later this month in Qatar.

The new command is to focus on defensive operations and will co-ordinate with the GCC’s naval command based in Bahrain and its air command in Saudi Arabia. […]