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Jim Mattis in Indonesia: Snakes Part of Survival Skills Demonstration

Jim Mattis in Indonesia: Snakes Part of Survival Skills Demonstration

Indonesian special forces demonstrate snake-handling Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, for U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Jakarta, Indonesia. (Robert Burns/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 24 January 2018 02:46 PM

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis got to see Indonesian special forces show off their survival skills by killing live snakes and drinking their blood, rolling on broken glass, walking on hot coals and breaking bricks on their heads, Business Insider noted.

The demonstration formed part of Mattis' trip across Southeast Asia, where he hoped to improve ties and build alliances in the region.

Generally speaking, traveling Pentagon chiefs bear witness to more routine military demonstrations, Reuters noted, but instead of the hostage rescue drill that was expected, local military groups opted for something more dramatic.

With drums beating, the soldiers showed off their combat skills by performing a sequence of advanced martial arts moves.

The performance culminated in the handling of King cobras, which were scattered across the floor and then wrestled with by the soldiers, according to ABC News.

They then cut the cobras' heads off and drank the snake blood, Business Insider noted.

Mattis did not comment much on the performance but before embarking to Vietnam, he remarked on the snake handling.

"The snakes! Did you see them tire them out and then grab them? The way they were whipping them around – a snake gets tired very quickly," he said, according to Reuters.

Mattis was visiting Indonesia with hopes of repairing ties with the country's military, which are banned from training with U.S. forces after being sanctioned for enforcing the policies of the country's former dictator, who utilized special forces as a criminal organization, Business Insider noted.

Following his trip, Mattis may look to soften the U.S.'s policy.

"You could imagine how much training went into each individual there, that they were able to do that," he said of the military group's demonstration, per Reuters. "When you watch a force do that, many small things, perfectly, you can imagine that they can also put the bigger things together."

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Indonesian special forces showed off their survival skills for Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis in a demonstration that included killing live snakes and drinking their blood, Business Insider reported.
jim mattis, indonesia, snakes, survival
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 02:46 PM
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