DUBAI/PARIS - Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, according to a joint statement published on state news agency SPA.

“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations centre based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” the statement said.

A long list of Arab countries such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, together with Islamic countries Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and Gulf Arab and African states were mentioned.

The announcement cited “a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organisations whatever their sect and name which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorise the innocent.”

Addressing a news briefing in Paris on Tuesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said the new alliance will share information and train, equip and provide forces if necessary for the fight against Islamic State militants,.“Nothing is off the table,” al-Jubeir said when asked whether the initiative could include troops on the ground. “It depends on the requests that come, it depends on the need and it depends on the willingness of countries to provide the support necessary,” he said.

The new Saudi-led alliance does not include the kingdom’s regional rival Iran, or Syria and Iraq. The United States has been increasingly outspoken about its view that Gulf Arab states should do more to aid the military campaign against the Islamic State militant group based in Iraq and Syria. In a rare press conference, 30-year-old deputy crown prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman told reporters on Tuesday that the campaign would “coordinate” efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan, but offered few concrete indications of how military efforts might proceed.

“There will be international coordination with major powers and international organisations ... in terms of operations in Syria and Iraq. We can’t undertake these operations without coordinating with legitimacy in this place and the international community,” bin Salman said without elaborating. Asked if the new alliance would focus just on Islamic State, bin Salman said it would confront not only that group but “any terrorist organisation that appears in front of us.”

Analysts said it was too soon to tell what action the coalition will take, and noted the move comes with Saudi Arabia nearly nine months into a costly war in Yemen. “Regardless, I’d say the move certainly packs a powerful symbolic punch,” said Adam Baron, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Baron called the announcement “in some regards, a bit of a surprise,” but said it fits into “the larger, more assertive policy” of Saudi King Salman and his powerful son, Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman.

Mohammed said other countries including Indonesia have expressed support without yet joining the bloc, “but out of keenness to achieve this coalition as soon as possible, (this alliance of) 34 countries has been announced.”

“Turkey is ready to contribute by all its means to all gatherings that aim to fight terrorism, no matter where or by whom it is organised,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in Ankara on Tuesday.

In March the Saudi kingdom formed an Arab coalition of about a dozen countries to support the government of Yemen against Iran-backed Huthi rebels and their allies, who seized much of the country. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have, however, assumed the main roles in that coalition.

Here is the list of 34 countries – Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, UAE, Bahrain, Tunisia, Djibouti, Sudan, Somalia, Palestinian territories, Comoros, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania and Yemen.

African countries: Benin, Chad, Togo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria Asian countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Malaysia

Other: Turkey

Germany’s defence minister welcomed Saudi Arabia’s announcement of the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism.

Ursula von der Leyen told German broadcaster ZDF the alliance would be of help if it joined other countries fighting Islamic State (IS), adding that IS had gained strength from disagreement among various opposition parties on how to fight or who to protect. “I think it’s right that the opposition is forming a group but it needs to be - and this is important - part of the Vienna process that includes all countries fighting against IS like the US, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia but also Iran and China,” she said.