Worldwide praise for Saudi cop as Daesh shootout video goes global

Cpl. Gibran Jaber Awagy, the brave police officer, who shot and killed two Daesh-linked wanted terrorists, is recuperating in a hospital.
Updated 09 January 2017
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Worldwide praise for Saudi cop as Daesh shootout video goes global

JEDDAH: The brave police officer who shot and killed two Daesh-linked terrorists has been hailed as a hero by Saudi citizens and the international media.
The UK-based Daily Mail has cited his bravery, saying that “despite the terrorists being armed with machine guns, an officer shoots them [the two terrorists] with a pistol.”
“Hero police officer shoots dead two ISIS terrorists wearing explosive belts in a dramatic gunfight captured on camera in the Saudi Arabian capital,” said the Daily Mail.
Cpl. Gibran Jaber Awagy was wounded in the dramatic shootout in Riyadh on Saturday — but said he did not even realize he was injured until afterward.
The militants were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and explosive belts. Awagy shot dead the two militants from behind a patrol car, which the two militants had tried to steal in their escape attempt.
Awagy, who is recovering in hospital, won praise for his quick actions in stopping the “most wanted” Daesh terrorist Tayea Salem bin Yaslam Al-Sayari and accomplice Talal bin Samran Al-Saedi.
On the day of the security operation in Riyadh, Cpl. Awagy was called to the scene in the Al-Yasmeen neighborhood as reinforcement. He and his colleagues immediately cordoned off the area to prevent civilians from coming close to the site and getting harmed, he told Sabq.com.
It was then that two men dressed in traditional Saudi dress came out of a house running.
“At first, I was not sure whether those running in front of me were the terrorists; they could have been neighborhood residents trying to run away from the terrorists. I was asking them to take shelter. Suddenly they started firing at me so I immediately pulled out my pistol and fired back,” he said. A local resident shot a video of the incident, which went viral on the Internet. It showed how the operation was carried out by Awagy and the death of one of the terrorists.
The video does not clearly show how the other terrorist was brought down.
But there is more to the story, as the brave police officer explained.
“I was carrying a machine gun when one of the terrorists started shooting at me and tried to carjack my police patrol vehicle. By the time the other terrorist arrived, the magazine of the machine gun was empty, so I immediately pulled out my pistol, and shot and killed him,” he said.
In the process, Awagy was shot in the leg by one of the terrorists, but that did not stop him from stopping the Daesh militants’ escape bid.
“I did not realize I was injured and bleeding until after all had finished. My top priority was to kill those terrorists and eliminate the risks they were posing,” he said.
Awagy is being treated in hospital and said he will hopefully recover with no consequences.
Soon after he was admitted to hospital, Awagy received a phone call from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, who checked on his condition and conveyed King Salman’s greetings and wishes of speedy recovery.
His story has gone viral on social media and got picked up by international media outlets, praising Awagy for his heroism and putting his life on the line.
People on social media circulated the hashtag #The_Hero_Jabran_Awaji and expressed their admiration of the policeman’s bravery and heroism.
“One has to admit that when it comes to fighting crime, Saudi forces are one of the best!” said AbdulRahman Siddiqui on Facebook.
Abdulrahman Paidumama was impressed with the performance of Awagy and said, “It is not easy to face the AK47 while in your hand is just a 9mm pistol, what a brave policeman... may Allah protect you all the time.”
The perfect timing and correct use of moves impressed Mahamad Amin Shaikh “He is a real Hero. I Salute this Brave man.”
Manal Saleh felt reassured after watching the video of the policeman’s courage hunting down the terrorists in a heartbeat without thinking for a second and said, “Saudi policemen will do everything to protect all of us inside the Kingdom.”
Despite the fact that the two militants had machine guns, grenades and suicide belts, “the brave Saudi cop” — as Mohammed Sadiq Mulki described him — deserved a medal of honor. “Hats off him for his courage and bravery,” he said.
Global media outlets also praised Awagy’s quick thinking and brave actions.
The London-based Daily Mail newspaper called the police officer a “hero,” while accounts of his brave actions were also reported in The Independent newspaper, Yahoo News and numerous other outlets.
Maria Dubovikova, a leading Russian political analyst who specializes in Middle Eastern affairs, shared the video of the Riyadh encounter on her Twitter account.
“#SaudiArabian policeman armed with a pistol against two #ISIS terrorists armed with Kalashnikov. Guess who wins!” she wrote from her Twitter handle @politblogme.
Speaking to Arab News on Sunday, Dubovikova, president of the Moscow-based International Middle Eastern Studies Club (IMESClub), said she was very impressed by the professionalism and efficiency of the Saudi security forces who protect their homeland from terrorists.
“On their shoulders is a heavy burden but they bear it with responsibility and great professionalism,” she said. “People around the world should understand this; the bravery of the Saudi security forces should help clear away all the negative stereotypes of Saudi Arabia.”


Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

King Salman chairs the Cabinet session in Riyadh on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 16 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia, South Korea reach agreement on visas

  • Cabinet OKs air transport pact with Indonesia

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cabinet met to discuss a series of national and global developments on Tuesday, in a session chaired by King Salman.

At the forefront of the agenda was the escalation in tensions between Israel and Hamas along the Gaza border, and the continuing encroachment on Palestinian land by Israeli settlers in the West Bank. The Cabinet responded by demanding that the UN Security Council intervene. King Salman also relayed to ministers the outcome of his talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which covered many regional issues.

The minister of media, Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah, announced that after reviewing proposals from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a decision from the Shoura Council, a memorandum of understanding between the government and the Republic of Korea on granting visit visas had been agreed upon.

The Cabinet approved the amendment of the air agreement on regular air transport between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

The Cabinet, meanwhile, praised the progress of the 2025 Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development Program, aimed at enhancing farming techniques by promoting sustainable water and renewable energy sources.

They also discussed the framework in Vision 2030 and the National Transformation Program 2020 for building a sustainable renewable energy sector, reiterating aims to lead global renewable energy developments over the next decade, and create projects such as the wind-powered plant at Dumat Al-Jandal, as part of the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative.

In a statement, though, Al-Shabanah said: “The Cabinet discussed the announcement made by the minister of energy, industry and mineral resources about the Kingdom’s oil and gas reserves, which highlighted the importance of Saudi Arabia as a secure source of oil supplies in the long term.”

He added, in closing, the Cabinet’s praise for the efforts of Saudi security forces in the tracking and arrest of seven people in Qatif, which foiled a planned terrorist attack.