Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior on Wednesday announced that it had assigned a squadron within the kingdom’s air force to protect the holy city of Mecca from any potential threats.
The ministry said that this squadron is intended to protect worshippers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca through surveillance and monitoring, the reports of which would be sent to a central police command, as reported by Russian news site Russia Today (RT).
According to the Ministry of Interior, the data collected by the newly assigned squadron will be ultimately analysed by the central police command which his responsible for the management of all security operations pertaining to Mecca.
The ministry added that the crew of this squadron are expected to receive high level training during the last ten days of Ramadan.
The planned increase in surveillance has reportedly been brought on by an unprecedented increase in the number of worshippers both inside and in the surrounding areas of Mecca, which has caused a need for higher levels of vigilance and attention to detail in the case of any potential emergency or deviation from regular operations.
The air squadron will also engage in the evacuation of worshippers or pilgrims in the case of medical emergencies, which quite often require rapid rescue times not provided by a conventional on-the-ground ambulance.
The aircraft utilized by this squadron will take off from an air security base in Jeddah and conduct aerial surveys and surveillance of Mecca and its surrounding areas using the latest, hi-tech equipment.
Translated By: Anastasia Pr