Houthis on back foot as Yemeni army advances

Photo showing Saudi-led Arab coalition Spokesperson Colonel Turki Al-Maliki addressing a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, June 18, 2018. (AN, Basheer Saleh)
Updated 19 June 2018
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Houthis on back foot as Yemeni army advances

RIYADH: Iran-backed Houthi militants have been outmaneuvered as the military operations by the Yemeni army and the resistance forces supported by the Arab coalition continue to achieve success, said coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki.

The Yemeni army has taken control of Hodeidah airport as the Arab coalition entered the main compound of the airport on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday night, Al-Maliki said: “As the Yemeni army carried out a military offensive on the Houthi areas, the militias received heavy blows in Hodeidah and Saada.”

The national army carried out military operations in several areas and continued their progress in Hodeidah, Saada, Medi, Hajjah and Nahm, he said. This gave the national army control on these fronts, putting the militants on the defensive and leading to the breaking up of their ranks.

Al-Maliki said that the Houthi militias deliberately lied to hide their defeats. Yemenis should be alerted to the lies propagated by this Iran-backed sectarian militia and its claim that it controls the military position, with the aim of intimidating them and misleading them to enroll them in their ranks.

He said that the port was a strategic military target through which terrorist militias received weapons from Iran to provoke chaos and corruption in Yemen, and continue tampering through acts of terrorism and threatening maritime navigation in the Straits of Bab Al-Mandab.

“Houthi militia defeats, losses in Hodeidah will cut them from Iranian logistic access,” he said.

“The liberation of the city of Hodeidah and its harbor is an inherent right of the Yemeni government based on international laws and in accordance with Resolution 2216,” he said, adding “the liberation of Hodeidah will lead to the cutting off of Iranian hands, which will stop the smuggling of Iranian weapons to the Houthis.”

Al-Maliki said that humanitarian aid continued to enter Hodeidah and all areas despite hostilities from the Iran-backed militia.

The coalition continued to give maritime, land and air permits for aid to enter Yemen, he said.

Al-Maliki reviewed the efforts of the Joint Forces Command in securing international humanitarian organizations in Yemen, protecting roads for humanitarian operations and granting permits for campaigns and cargo loaded with relief and humanitarian aid through land, air and sea crossings, which according to him last week included 65 flights, carrying more than 4,000 passengers, 41 permits for ships anchored in all Yemeni ports, and one for the shipment of aid arriving by road.

He said that assistance coming to Yemen included oil derivatives and therapeutic, food and shelter services.

Al-Maliki referred to the process and political efforts in Yemen, the most recent of which was the visit of UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith in early June, during which he met with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and representatives of the countries of the region, before moving to Sanaa. 

He said his efforts and initiatives within the general framework for finding an amicable political solution in Yemen were rejected by the Houthi militias, as were the efforts by former UN Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who was unable to find a solution to the Yemeni crisis because of the rejection of solutions by the Houthi militias and their lack of interest in finding solutions.

Al-Maliki said this information was included in the recent briefing to the Security Council by the former UN envoy, in which he stated the rejection of the Houthi militias of all political efforts and their deliberately obstructing the political solution.

He made a visual presentation giving a description of military targeting by coalition forces of the Iranian-backed militia’s vehicles used for war supplies to various sites.

Al-Maliki said the coalition forces would continue to support the legitimacy in Yemen to ensure the success of international organizations working to improve the infrastructure in Yemen and to work to restore security and stability in line with international and humanitarian laws.


Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

Updated 24 April 2019
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Saudi Arabia plans to create 561,000 jobs under new digital employment initiative

  • Qiwa program aims to achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing unemployment rate to 7 percent

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has revealed ambitious plans to create more than 561,000 private-sector jobs by 2023 as part of a new digital era for the Kingdom’s labor market.

Minister of Labor and Social Development Ahmad Al-Rajhi made the announcement at the launch of the Qiwa online platform, which aims to combine all the country’s employment services under one electronic roof.

Through digitalization, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development hopes to not only boost job opportunities for Saudi men and women, but also improve workplace efficiency and productivity, and attract international investment.

Al-Rajhi said: “The ministry has entered into partnerships and agreements to settle more than 561,000 job opportunities in the private sector until 2023,” and the minister added that 45,000 Saudis had entered the labor market in the last three months.

The new labor force platform will consolidate employment-related e-services already offered to job seekers, employees and employers and plans are in the pipeline to plug a further 71 services into the system.

The Qiwa program aims to provide Saudi government officials with a data mine of statistical information to tackle business challenges facing employers and employees, help create new job opportunities, and achieve the Vision 2030 goal of reducing the country’s unemployment rate to 7 percent. Another key objective is to strategically enhance the Kingdom’s business environment to make it more attractive to local and international investors.

A ministry statement issued to Arab News, said: “The Qiwa platform will have an impact on motivating investors. It will also re-engineer policies and procedures for all services provided to individuals and enterprises on a strong platform that will make a quantum leap in the business world and turn the Saudi market into an attractive market for opportunities and potential for competencies.

“The services are provided in both Arabic and English in order to enable foreign investors to benefit from the services of a strong platform,” the statement added.

The e-services include programs to encourage Saudis to access jobs in their locality by improving the workplace environment and making it more appealing to men and women.

The Kingdom’s public sector is quickly adapting to international standards and labor market demands by digitalizing services, while the ministry is using the latest business management methods to help public organizations increase the competency and productivity of workers while creating a competitive labor market that can partner with the private sector.