Militia attack on Saudi tanker sparks environmental warning

The Houthi militia continue to threaten navigation in the Red Sea, and have launched attacks against an oil tanker and fishing vessels earlier this year. (SPA)
Updated 25 July 2018
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Militia attack on Saudi tanker sparks environmental warning

  • The militia almost caused an environmental disaster, the coalition said
  • The Houthis have carried out several attempted attacks on vessels in the Red Sea

JEDDAH: A Houthi rebel attack on a Saudi oil tanker off Hodeida early Wednesday has been foiled by the Arab coalition’s fleet, coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.

The attack, which took place in international waters west of the militia-controlled port, left the tanker with minimal damage.

A coalition statement said that the tanker was attacked at 0115 (2115 GMT) west of Yemen’s Hodeidah port, but did not name the vessel or describe how it was attacked.

“The Saudi oil tanker was subjected to slight damage due to the attack by the Houthi militia,” it said. “Thankfully the attack failed due to immediate intervention of the Coalition’s flee.” It provided no details.

Al-Maliki condemned the attack as “a dangerous threat to the freedom of navigation and international trade” and said the incident might have resulted in an environmental disaster.

“The continuation of such attempts proves the real threat this militia poses. The port of Hodeida is still the starting point of terrorist attacks,” he said.

“The Joint Forces Command of the coalition will always implement all security and precautionary measures to sustain safety and security of freedom of navigation and trade in the Red Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. The command will continue its core role to stabilize and secure Yemen, protecting and securing regional and international security and economy.”

Al-Maliki said that returning Hodeida to the legitimate government of Yemen will end the port’s use as a military base to launch terror attacks against maritime lanes.


‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

Updated 43 min 8 sec ago
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‘I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi Arabia for years’: Akon tells Asharqiah crowd

  • “First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah” Akon said 
  • He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits at the Asharqiah Music Festival

DAMMAM: American rapper Akon captivated a packed crowd at the Asharqiah Music Festival on Friday, opening up the second night of musical festivities at Sharqiah Season with a special shout-out to Saudi Arabia.

“You have no idea, I’ve been waiting to get to Saudi for years, man,” Akon said, before launching into his song, “Gunshot.” Later, he told the crowd: “I’m seeing a tremendous change in Saudi Arabia here tonight."

At 8 p.m., under a bright moon on a beautifully cool night, Akon began his set, delighting fans who had spent over 10 minutes chanting his name in anticipation of his arrival.

He entertained the crowd with some of his most popular hits, including “Smack That,” “Mr. Lonely” and “Sorry: Blame It On Me.” And he wrapped things up with “I love you, Saudi... thank you for making me feel at home."

Backstage before the concert, Akon told Arab News how excited he was to be in Saudi Arabia for the first time. He was especially excited to visit one Saudi city in particular.

“First thing tomorrow morning, I’m headed to Makkah to perform Umrah.”