Houthis committed ‘massacres’ in Yemen: Report

Shiite tribesmen, known as Houthis, hold their weapons during a tribal gathering showing support for the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen, in this Dec. 15, 2015 file photo. (AP)
Updated 27 March 2017
0

Houthis committed ‘massacres’ in Yemen: Report

JEDDAH: Large-scale “massacres” have been perpetrated in Yemen by Houthi militias and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a recent report has found.
Yemen’s National Human Rights Commission pointed to crimes against unarmed civilians including indiscriminate shelling of residential compounds and popular markets, using artillery and Katyusha rocket launchers.
The report described grave violations of international human rights law and crimes against humanity, saying the perpetrators must be punished.
It cited 11 incidents in which Houthi and forces loyal to Saleh carried out massacres, including the targeting and killing of displaced people from Tawahi, with militia dropping mortars on unarmed civilians fleeing in small boats.
According to the report, human rights teams monitored the killing of 10,811 Yemeni civilians over the past two years by Houthi gunfire and shelling, including 679 women, 1,002 children, and 9,160 men. The majority were killed in 2015, the report revealed, confirming that Houthi and Saleh militias had been deliberately targeting civilians.
The rise of civilian deaths in 2015 was attributed by the commission to the invasion by Houthi militia and Saleh loyalists of Yemen’s central and southern provinces, where they had been indiscriminately bombing populated areas, including schools and hospitals.
The report continued to indicate that the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen had not targeted any civilians or struck populated residential areas.
Despite the availability of information about the presence of weapons and ammunition in such residential areas, the coalition had refrained from bombing these areas to avoid claiming lives of innocent civilians, the report found.
Instead, the coalition relies on targeted military operations in order to avoid any loss of civilian life, and is committed to maintaining war ethics and refraining from violating human rights or international standards.
A joint incident assessment committee has been formed, comprising of 14 members including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE, which will investigate any accusations of violations. 


Saudi railways approach 67th anniversary, play large role in linking cities

Updated 9 min 8 sec ago
0

Saudi railways approach 67th anniversary, play large role in linking cities

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s railways are considered one of the main methods of transportation and the Kingdom has always paid attention to its railway sector. 
The railways also contribute to economic and social development and play a pivotal role in transporting goods and passengers between cities in the Kingdom.
Construction of the the Riyadh-Dammam railway line began in 1947, and it has transported passengers and goods since its inauguration on October 20, 1951. 
The railway line is 569 km long and its opening coincided with the establishment of a large commercial port in the Eastern Province.
In the beginning, the railway line was run by Aramco, but it was subsequently entrusted to the Ministry of Finance.
On May 13, 1966 a royal decree was issued establishing the The Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) as a public corporation having full legal status.
The development of the vital Riyadh-Dammam line emphasizes the state’s keenness to develop the railway sector. Several railway lines linking Riyadh to numerous cities in the Eastern Province have been built, and the main line linking Riyadh and Dammam has been modernized.
The main railway stations for passengers opened in Riyadh, Dammam, and Hofuf in 1981, and in 1985, another railway line between Riyadh and Dammam measuring 449 km was built. The line shortened the journey time between the two cities from 420 minutes to 300 minutes. Modern SRO trains travel at around 160 km per hour.
A considerable number of passengers use SRO trains and this is a sign of the confidence that citizens and residents put in the railways as a means of safe transportation compared to other forms of transport. Passenger trains transported approximately 1.48 million passengers during 2017 between stations in Dammam, Abqaiq, Hofuf, and Riyadh.