Officials said the Saudi officers would see a salary increase of 15
percent. They said the rise would be accompanied by a bonus of two months
salary, Middle East Newsline reported.
This month's decision took place amid Saudi efforts to rapidly
improve combat and security skills in the kingdom. The Saudi Interior
Ministry has also launched a drive to recruit up to 60,000 people to join
the security forces.
During his inspection, Khaled urged the Saudi military to intensify
training. He said this was required to ensure proper use of the new combat
air and ground platforms acquired from such countries as Britain and the
The greatest internal threat to Saudi Arabia was said to come from the
kingdom's Shi'ite minority, concentrated in the oil-rich Eastern Province.
On April 5, Khaled inspected military positions in the province and urged
commanders to prepare for any threats, including Iran.
"Iran should listen to reason while making statements," Khaled said.
"What we care about the most is the directives of our leadership to protect
the security of our borders and our region."
Over the last month, Saudi Arabia deployed an estimated 4,000 troops
from the National Guard in neighboring Bahrain. Khaled said Bahrain has
restored stability in wake of a crackdown on the Shi'ite opposition,
believed supported by Iran.
"We need not exaggerate matters," Khaled said. "The situation in Saudi
Arabia and Bahrain is stable and satisfactory."
Khaled was said to have discussed with commanders other regional
threats, including Yemen. The deputy minister did not rule out the renewal
of the Iranian-backed Shi'ite revolt in northern Yemen, which in 2009
spilled over into Saudi Arabia.
"I would like to reassure everybody that our borders are now secure and
that the armed forces are stationed there and are backed by border guards,"