Arab coalition: Raid on Houthi missile launch site in Yemen complies with international law

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The missile exploded in the air, causing debris to fall onto residential areas, killing a Yemeni resident and injuring 11 others. (SPA)
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The missile exploded in the air, causing debris to fall onto residential areas, killing a Yemeni resident and injuring 11 others. (SPA)
Updated 09 August 2018

Arab coalition: Raid on Houthi missile launch site in Yemen complies with international law

  • One civilian was killed in the initial attack when the Houthi missile was shot down
  • Saudi coalition said it targeted Houthis in a legitimate attempt to protect civilians

JEDDAH: Airstrikes on a site in Yemen used by militants to launch missiles toward Saudi Arabia were “legitimate,” the Arab coalition said Thursday, as it was confirmed that a number of Houthi field commanders had been killed.

The Saudi-led coalition said air raids on Saada in northwestern Yemen, a stronghold of the Iran-backed Houthis, complied with international humanitarian laws.

Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki said the military action was targeted at militants who planned an attack with the aim of harming civilians, by attempting to launch a missile toward Jazan in southern Saudi Arabia.

“The targeting on Thursday in the province of Saada is a legitimate military operation to target elements that planned and executed the targeting of civilians last night in the city of Jazan,” he said. 

“(The operation) was carried in accordance to international humanitarian law and customary rules, and the coalition will take all procedures against the criminal and terror acts by the terrorist Houthi militia affiliated with Iran.”

The attempted Houthi missile attack, intercepted by Saudi Royal Air Defense forces, killed one civilian and injured 11 others in Yemen on Wednesday evening, Saudi state news agency SPA and the coalition said.

Al-Maliki said the missile was fired toward Jazan “in a deliberate way to target residential and populated areas,” and explicitly violating international humanitarian law.

Late on Thursday, another ballistic missile fell inside Yemen after the Houthis attempted to launch it towards Najran.

The Houthis have launched a series of missile strikes on Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh, over the past year.

The spokesman said the Western-backed Arab coalition would continue to take all measures to maintain regional and international security.

A coalition source quoted by the Al Arabiya News Channel said that a number of Houthi field commanders were killed in a raid on Thursday morning. 

They included prominent recruiters of young people in Yemen to fight on behalf of the Houthis. The Iran-backed militia have a history of recruiting child soldiers.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies entered the war in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis, who drove the internationally recognized government into exile in 2014.

King Salman receives Saudi Grand Mufti, princes, and military leaders

Updated 21 August 2018

King Salman receives Saudi Grand Mufti, princes, and military leaders

  • King Salman extends Eid Al-Adha greetings to Saudi citizens, pilgrims and senior officials
  • King Salman arrived in Mina on Monday to supervise services being provided to pilgrims

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday said it was an honor to serve fellow Muslims undertaking this year’s Hajj pilgrimage.
The King made the comments as he and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received the Kingdom’s princes, Grand Mufti, scholars, sheikhs, ministers, and military leaders participating in Hajj at the Royal Court in Mina Palace.
King Salman arrived in Mina, in the holy city of Makkah, on Monday, to supervise services being provided to almost 2.4 million pilgrims.
He greeted his visitors and all the Saudi citizens, as well as the pilgrims, on Eid Al-Adha.
“Dear brothers, Allah has honored our blessed country with the duty of serving pilgrims and providing them with the necessities to ensure they perform their rites safely and smoothly.
“Great lengths to serve them and ensure their comfort continues to be a source of pride for our country, since it was founded by the late King Abdul Aziz, and we will continue to perform this duty with the help and support of Allah.”
The King added: “My brothers and sons in the military, the pilgrims who have come to perform Hajj and Umrah, and the whole world, are seeing and experiencing your efforts in serving pilgrims, which is your duty and honor.
“These great sacrifices made by the Kingdom’s military sectors to defend the country and to protect its sanctities and capabilities are our pride.
“On this blessed day, we remember our martyrs and heroes, who sacrificed their lives for their religion and their country, and we ask Allah to bestow his mercy upon them and grant the wounded a fast recovery.
“We ask Allah to keep our country safe and secure, and to help us serve our religion and country.”
The gathering included senior guests from GCC countries and officials form the Saudi scouts officials who have come extend their greetings to the King on Eid Al-Adha,
Gen. Saeed bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, Assistant Minister of Interior for Operations Affairs and General Supervisor of Public Security, congratulated King Salman, the commander-in-chief of all the armed forces, on Eid Al-Adha on behalf of those who had provided security services during Hajj.
“The Hajj security forces have begun carrying out their tasks, which are focused on maintaining the security and safety of pilgrims, enabling them to perform the Hajj rituals, and providing them with the humanitarian assistance they need,” he said.
Earlier, King Salman said that serving Hajj pilgrims was: “The greatest honor that God has honored our country.”
“I call upon him to complement the pilgrims and to perpetuate good and peace for our nation and the rest of the country,” the Kingdom’s ruler posted in Arabic on his Twitter account.
Government data show that 2.371 million pilgrims are participating in this year’s Hajj, with 1.758 million of them coming from abroad.