Saudi minister denies his country involved in Iran attacks

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir attends a joint press conference with his German counterpart at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin on June 7, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 07 June 2017
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Saudi minister denies his country involved in Iran attacks

BERLIN: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister rejected an accusation by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards that his country was behind twin attacks in Tehran on Wednesday that killed at least 12 people.
Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the parliament building and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in the Iranian capital. . Islamic State claimed responsibility and released a video purporting to show gunmen inside the parliament.
Speaking in Berlin, Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said there was no evidence to implicate Saudi Arabia in the attacks in Tehran, which is Riyadh’s arch regional rival.
“We condemn terrorist attacks anywhere they occur and we condemn the killing of the innocent anywhere it occurs,” Jubeir told an event hosted by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the think- tank of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.
He said Riyadh had no knowledge of who was responsible for the attacks, and denied that Saudi groups were behind it.
“We don’t know this. We haven’t seen the evidence,” he said, repeating Riyadh’s longstanding view that Iran is the primary sponsor of terrorism around the world.
Jubeir said Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries would be willing to reestablish normal ties with Iran if it changed its behavior and stopped supporting militants and fighters in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and elsewhere across the region.
On Monday Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain severed relations with Qatar and closed their airspace to commercial flights, accusing Doha of funding militant groups and backing Iran in the region.
Jubeir said on Wednesday there was no specific trigger for the decision to cut ties with Qatar, but said there was a long list of grievances.
He declined to confirm a list of 10 demands published by Al Jazeera, which included shutting down the Doha-based news channel, but added that Qatar knew what it needed to do to restore normal relations.


Yemeni army arrests local elements cooperating with Houthis in Hodeidah

Updated 3 min 45 sec ago
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Yemeni army arrests local elements cooperating with Houthis in Hodeidah

DUBAI: The Yemeni army foiled a Houthi offensive into positions south of Yemen’s Hodeidah province on Sunday, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
Military sources said “army forces supported by the Arab coalition foiled a militia infiltration attempt and attack in the hopes of recovering positions in the region that it had lost.”
The army also arrested local elements working for the militia within the same province.
A military source told the Yemeni Defense Ministry’s official website, September Net, that those arrested were relaying army position coordinates to the Houthi militia.
Elsewhere, a report published by local activists revealed that more than 40 civilians were killed by Houthi bombardments in Hays province south of Hodeidah.
According to the report, among those killed were 14 children, and among the more than 100 wounded, were 40 also children.
The report also stated that the Houthi attacks damaged more than 100 houses, eight farms, five mosques and four government facilities.
Elsewhere Yemen’s army made further advances in the Hiran district of Hajjah province, north-west of Hodeidah on Sunday.
A statement released by Yemen’s army stated that the forces regained several new positions while continuing its advancement.
According to the statement, dozens of militia were killed and 10 were captured east of the village of Jemaa in the valley of Hiran.