Saudi Arabia provided $13bn in support to Yemen since 2014: Arab coalition

Arab Coalition Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki speaks at a press conference in Riyadh. (File photo/SPA)
Updated 18 February 2019
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Saudi Arabia provided $13bn in support to Yemen since 2014: Arab coalition

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has provided more than $13 billion in support to Yemen since 2014, the Arab coalition said on Monday.

“We are providing political and humanitarian relief efforts to support the Yemeni people in addition to combating terrorism in Yemen,” coalition spokesman Turki Al-Maliki said.

Speaking in Riyadh, Al-Maliki gave details about a series of successful military operations throughout Yemen. He said specific military operations were continuing in Hadramout province, Saada and other Yemeni areas. The coalition “continues to support the ground operations of the Yemeni National Army toward Maran.”
He also said the Iranian-backed Houthi militia have breached the Stockholm agreement more than 1,400 times, reiterating that the Houthi militia continue to fire ballistic missiles and plant land and sea mines and using Yemeni civilians as human shields.
Al-Maliki said the “coup” and the absence of a legitimate government had led to the rise of terrorist organizations in Yemen.
Al-Maliki said the Houthis had attempted to camouflage ballistic missile launch pads and he presented several videos and photographs of military operations targeting the militants. He also presented examples of Iranian-made weapons used by the Houthis.
The Houthis have lost about 1,000 fighters during the past two weeks, according to the coalition.

 


Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

Updated 1 min 30 sec ago
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Christchurch Muslims praise King Salman’s Hajj offer

CHRISTCHURCH: King Salman’s Hajj offer to host families of those affected by March’s Christchurch terror attacks is “something really special,” said the president of the Muslim Association of Canterbury, Shagaf Khan.
The Saudi king has offered to host and cover the expenses of 200 Hajj pilgrims when they journey to Makkah this year.
Khan said people will be both financially and spiritually supported during the journey. “For some of them, it’ll be a great comfort feeling like they’ve fulfilled the obligations of being a Muslim,” he added.
Khan said a trip to Makkah would normally cost around 10,000 New Zealand dollars ($6,769), but King Salman’s offer would cover pilgrims “from the time they leave their house and come back.”
When asked what the offer would mean for Canterbury’s Muslim community, Khan said it is part of the solidarity and support that has been shown to them since the Christchurch terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 51 people.
“Four months on … people still feel supported and they feel they’re still being remembered,” he added.
Sheikh Mohammed Amir, who is working closely with the local community, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy and its Ministry of Islamic Affairs to implement King Salman’s offer, said it will be available for those who had lost family members or been injured in the mosque attacks.
Canterbury’s Muslims are “very appreciative” of the offer, added Amir, who is chairman of the Islamic Scholars Board of New Zealand.
“I’ll say with full confidence that this will be a big relief for the deceased’s families, for the victims, for all those who’ve been injured and affected,” he said.
When asked how the organization of the pilgrimage is going, Amir said “so far, so good,” but added that it has been challenging without official records to track everyone down.
He said it is an honor and a responsibility to help organize the pilgrimage, which he has been helping to plan since the end of Ramadan. “People are very excited about it,” he added.
He said he believed that the king’s offer had been made to help people’s rehabilitation after the terror attacks.
“The community believes he’s going to contribute in building Christchurch and bringing people to a normal life,” Amir added.