Yemen ports open for aid, Houthis using ‘advanced weaponry’: Coalition spokesman

Coalition forces spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki, pictured here in a file photo, said several ports in Yemen had reopened for aid shipments. (AN Photo)
Updated 10 January 2018
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Yemen ports open for aid, Houthis using ‘advanced weaponry’: Coalition spokesman

RIYADH: The Houthi militia in Yemen targeted a Saudi jet on Sunday using “advanced weaponry,” coalition forces spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said on Wednesday.
The Iran-backed militias are also using radars and other high-tech equipment to locate ships, Al-Maliki said.
Investigations are underway to establish where the equipment is coming from, he said, adding that the Houthis’ have raised at least $1 billion through collection of taxes.
A Saudi oil tanker was targeted Saturday by Houthi speed boats, the spokesman told a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Both commercial and aid vessels are being targeted by the militias, he said.
A total of 87 ballistic missiles have been targeted at Saudi Arabia by Houthi militias to date, he added.
The Saudi spokesperson elaborated that the last ballistic missile, which was intercepted over Najran in Saudi Arabia on Jan. 5, caused collateral damage, while some Houthi weapons in storage have been targeted by the coalition and destroyed.
Several ports in Yemen had been closed amid accusations that Iran is providing weapons to Houthi militia in the ongoing conflict.
Al-Maliki said however that land, sea and airports have now been reopened for international aid. These include the ports of Hodeidah, Aden, Mukala and Al-Mokha, with at least four aid ships already having been granted access.
Houthi forces are now focusing their attacks on Hodeidah, Al-Maliki said, adding that it was “vital” that the area is retaken to allow further humanitarian aid through the port. The coalition forces are advancing in Hodeidah and Jouf governorate in Yemen, Al-Maliki said.
Al-Maliki spoke of the Houthis' commitment to war and not peace. During the press conference a photo was shown portraying a soldier reading a primitive notebook that had pictures with instructions for the use of missiles. “Evidence proves that Houthis are being supported by foreign experts,” Al-Maliki said.
Al-Maliki pointed out that the Houthis are disguising themselves as normal citizens in order to avoid being targeted and taken in. He made clear that the coalition forces are advanced and monitoring them day and night. To fund their ongoing war in Yemen, Al-Maliki confirmed that “some Yemeni economic ventures and sectors are being forced to pay the Houthis.”
Finding a peaceful political solution is the best way forward, but the Houthis are not committed to this, Al-Maliki added.


Envoy highlights Saudi efforts to serve Muslims

Updated 6 min 42 sec ago
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Envoy highlights Saudi efforts to serve Muslims

  • Thailand is one of dozens of countries where Saudi clerics have been dispatched to lead prayers during the holy month of fasting
BANGKOK: Feeding Muslims during Ramadan is a benevolence program initiated by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi Press Agency reported the Kingdom’s charge d’affaires in Bangkok as saying.
Abdul Ilah Al-Shuaibi made the remarks during the inauguration of an iftar program in Thailand, adding that the initiative was not seasonal but part of continuous efforts from the Saudi leadership to care for Muslims around the world.
Thailand is one of dozens of countries where Saudi clerics have been dispatched to lead prayers during the holy month of fasting.
“The program to feed Ramadan fasters, organized by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, is a benevolence program initiated by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the good of Muslims around the globe,” Al-Shuaibi said.
“The ministry, led by Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh, is making great efforts and Thais are enthusiastic about these efforts and the Qur’an teaching program.”
There were many Kingdom-led projects in Thailand, he added, including a development fund to set up a residential camp and schools for Rohingya refugees in coordination with the UN and the Thai government.
“The Kingdom also sends dates to be distributed among mosques and charities, as well as copies of the mushaf (the written form of the Qur’an) in Arabic and Thai,” he said.