Saudi tests siren after Iran backed Houthi militia fire new missiles

Photo showing the Director of Civil Defense, Sulaiman Alamro giving a statement (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2018
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Saudi tests siren after Iran backed Houthi militia fire new missiles

RIYADH: The Director of Civil Defense, Sulaiman Alamro said Thursday that it tested a new siren system for the capital Riyadh and oil-rich Eastern Province, the day after Houthi militia fired three ballistic missiles at the kingdom from Yemen.

The Saudi civil defense posted a video on its official site of the alarm system being tested. In a statement, Alamro stressed the importance of the early warning system to achieve the objectives of civil defense in the protection of life and property. The most important element of which are warning sirens, designed to “face risks of all kinds” and alert the population “in case of emergency.” 

Yemen’s Iran-allied Houthi militia have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against neighboring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition to restore the legitimately elected government in Sanaa. The Houthi insurgents announced they had fired two ballistic missiles at Riyadh and a third at the southern city of Jizan near the border, on Wednesday alone.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition said the kingdom’s air defenses intercepted all three, in statements carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

Riyadh has long accused Tehran of supplying the Houthi militia with ballistic missiles.

Wednesday’s salvo came after US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, which he criticized for excluding measures to curb Iran's ballistic missile program.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen in 2015 with the aim of pushing back the Houthi militia and restoring the internationally recognized government to power.


Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

Updated 19 July 2019
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Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

  • The president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury Shagaf Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey
  • Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back”

CHRISTCHURCH: King Salman’s Hajj offer to host families of those affected by March’s Christchurch terror attacks is “something really special,” said the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Shagaf Khan.
The Saudi king has offered to host and cover the expenses of 200 Hajj pilgrims when they journey to Makkah this year.
Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey. “For some of them, it’ll be a great comfort feeling like they’ve fulfilled the obligations of being a Muslim,” he added.
Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back.”
When asked what the offer would mean for Canterbury’s Muslim community, Khan said it is part of the solidarity and support that has been shown to them since the Christchurch terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 51 people.
“Four months on … people still feel supported and they feel they’re still being remembered,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed Amir, who is working closely with the local community, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy and its Ministry of Islamic Affairs to implement King Salman’s offer, said it will be available for those who had lost family members or been injured in the mosque attacks.
Canterbury’s Muslims are “very appreciative” of the offer, added Amir, who is chairman of the Islamic Scholars Board of New Zealand.
“I’ll say with full confidence that this will be a big relief for the deceased’s families, for the victims, for all those who’ve been injured and affected,” he said.
When asked how the organization of the pilgrimage is going, Amir said “so far, so good,” but added that it has been challenging without official records to track everyone down.
He said it is an honor and a responsibility to help organize the pilgrimage, which he has been helping to plan since the end of Ramadan. “People are very excited about it,” he added.
He said he believed that the king’s offer had been made to help people’s rehabilitation after the terror attacks.
“The community believes he’s going to contribute in building Christchurch and bringing people to a normal life,” Amir added.