Saudi king pledges to host 1,500 relatives of Yemeni and Sudanese war dead during Hajj pilgrimage

Muslim pilgrims arrive at Jeddah airport in the Saudi capital on July 14, 2018, prior to the start of the annual Hajj pilgrimage in the holy city of Makkah. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 30 July 2018
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Saudi king pledges to host 1,500 relatives of Yemeni and Sudanese war dead during Hajj pilgrimage

  • Hundreds of relatives of Yemeni and Sudanese soldiers killed in the war in Yemen are to be hosted in Saudi Arabia for Hajj
  • The announcement was made on Monday by King Salman, who said that 1,500 relatives would be traveling to the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Hundreds of relatives of Yemeni and Sudanese soldiers killed in the war in Yemen are to be hosted in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, Saudi press agency reported.

The announcement was made on Monday by King Salman, who said that 1,500 relatives would be traveling to the Kingdom to perform the Islamic pilgrimage in Islam’s holiest city.

The Minister of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance, Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Sheikh said the King’s announcement showed his recognition of the “heroic sacrifices made by soldiers to defend the security and unity of Yemen and its territorial integrity from the domination of Iran.”

He added the decision was part of the ongoing efforts by Saudi Arabia and its allies to support the internationally recognized government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

For his part, Saudi Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs for Mosques, Dawah and Guidance Dr. Tawfiq  Al-Sudairy expressed his gratitude to the Saudi king for his initiative. 
Al-Sudairy said this invitation will have a positive impact on the souls of our brothers. He added the martyrs deserve this for their sacrifices to protect the unity of Yemen and this is part of our nation’s continuous support to serve Islam and Muslims.
“This initiative is among a series of good initiatives by King Salman to serve Muslims across the world, especially those who sacrificed their lives to protect their nation,” he said. 
This comes as part of the Guests of King Salman for Hajj and Umrah program, which is supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

Meanwhile the Yemeni Ministry of Endowments and Guidance said on Saturday it had “completed the arrangements to receive some 25,000 Yemeni pilgrims coming from the Yemeni territory through Wadiah Port starting Aug 2.”

And more than 2,300 Sudanese pilgrims arrived on two ships, the Mouda and the Nour, where they were screened by medical teams.


Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

Updated 17 January 2019
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Investigation into alleged mistakes in Yemen find coalition forces acted properly

JEDDAH: The Joint Incident Assessment Team in Yemen (JIAT) has investigated four allegations made by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and media about mistakes made by coalition forces while carrying out military operations inside Yemen.
JIAT spokesman Mansour Al-Mansour said that the team concluded that the procedures followed by the coalition forces were proper and safe, taking into consideration the rules of engagement, international humanitarian law and the coalition’s own rules.
Team members visited a number of cities in Yemen, including Aden, Lahj and Khor Maksar, during the investigation and spoke to witnesses, victims and their families to gather evidence and establish the facts.
In one of the incidents that was investigated, coalition warship fired on and destroyed a craft in the waters off the Yemeni port of Al-Khokha in September. Al-Mansour said that after examining documents and evidence JIAT had concluded that an alliance ship was escorting and protecting a flotilla of three Saudi merchant ships when, in an area off the port of Al-Khokha, a boat was spotted approaching the convoy at a high speed from the direction of the Yemeni coast.
The escort ship followed the accepted rules of engagement by repeatedly warning the unidentified vessel, using loudspeakers, not to come any closer. When these went unheeded, warning shots were fired but the boat continued to approach.
“On reaching an area that represented a threat to the convoy, the protection ship tackled the boat according to the rules of engagement and targeted it, resulting in an explosion on the boat,” said Al-Mansour. “The protection ship continued escorting the convoy. After the escort task was completed, the protection ship returned to the site of the targeted boat to carry out a search-and-rescue operation for the crew of the target boat but no one was found.”