Saudi Arabia celebrates Eid Al-Fitr on Friday

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Banners adorn major roads in Riyadh on Thursday as the Kingdom prepare for Eid celebrations. (SPA)
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Banners adorn major roads in Riyadh on Thursday as the Kingdom prepare for Eid celebrations. (SPA)
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Banners adorn major roads in Riyadh on Thursday as the Kingdom prepare for Eid celebrations. (SPA)
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Banners adorn major roads in Riyadh on Thursday as the Kingdom prepare for Eid celebrations. (SPA)
Updated 15 June 2018
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Saudi Arabia celebrates Eid Al-Fitr on Friday

  • The Shawwal crescent was witnessed by many people and which were validated by the apex court during an extraordinary session, SPA said. 
  • Eid Al-Fitr marks the start of the Islamic month of Shawwal, and the end of fasting during Ramadan. Muslims around the world consider the holiday a reward for their worship during the holy month.

JEDDAH:  Eid Al-Fitr celebrations will begin in Saudi Arabia on Friday, June 15, the Saudi Supreme Court has announced.

The court earlier this week asked Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the new moon on Thursday; in the event, the Shawwal crescent was easy to spot and witnessed by many.

Several other countries also announced that Eid would start today, including the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Turkey, Sudan, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Indonesia, Australia and Malaysia.

Astronomer Khalid Al-Zaaq, a member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences, wrote on Twitter: “Eid begins Friday astronomically.” He added: “The astronomical calculations suggest that Friday, June 15 is first day of Eid Al-Fitr.”

Earlier this month, Al-Zaaq correctly predicted that Ramadan 2018 would be a 29-day month, with June 15 marking the first day of Eid.

As Eid Al-Fitr coincides with the start of the FIFA World Cup, the Saudi General Sports Authority and the General Entertainment Authority have organized sports and entertainment events and activities for soccer fans who could not make it to Russia.

King Salman had earlier issued a directive giving government employees and military staff around a full working week off to mark the holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan.

Government offices affected employees covered by the holiday will resume work on June 24.

King Salman has also ordered a 1.7 billion riyal ($453 million) payout to beneficiaries of social security in the Kingdom ahead of Eid.

The bonus is meant to help people meet their needs during the Eid holiday.


Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki speaks during a press conference in Riyadh. (AN photo by Bashir Saleh)
Updated 20 June 2018
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Hodeidah offensive: Coalition forces seize weapons supplied by Iran to Houthis

  • The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.
  • Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels.

JEDDAH: Saudi-led coalition officials on Tuesday displayed weapons and explosives supplied by Iran to Houthi militias in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. 

The arsenal included drones, a sniper rifle, roadside bombs disguised as rocks and even a “drone boat” which had been filled with explosives that failed to detonate.

Equipment used to produce and load fuel for rockets that target Saudi Arabia contained Iranian labels. The weapons were captured on the battlefield in Hodeidah and displayed at a military base in the UAE. 

“Unsurprisingly, there are advanced military components in the Houthi militias’ hands,” said Talal Al-Teneiji, an official at the UAE Foreign Ministry.

“We took time to inspect and disassemble these to figure out the source ... and we can say that these elements are military-grade materials imported from Iran to the Houthi militias.”

As the week-long offensive in Hodeidah intensified on Tuesday, coalition forces consolidated their grip on the city’s airport and there was new fighting on the main coast road leading to the city center, with Apache helicopters providing air support to the coalition. 

“We can hear the sounds of artillery, mortars and sporadic machinegun fire. The Houthis have been using tanks,” one civilian on the coastal strip said. 

“Water has been cut off to many of the areas near the corniche area because the Houthis have dug trenches and closed water pipes.”

At the airport, which the coalition has controlled since Saturday, their forces stormed the main compound and took full command.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said: “We are waiting for the Houthis to realize the sort of military and psychological blow that they got with the airport ... we are giving them time to decide if they want to save the city ... and pull out.”

Oubai Shahbandar, a strategic communications adviser, told Arab News that “without the sea and airport of Hodeidah, the Houthi militia has effectively lost the war.”

They should agree to UN-hosted peace talks and not prolong the fighting. “The tide in this conflict has clearly turned in favor of the Arab coalition and the welfare of the Yemeni people ought to be paramount,” he said.