Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants threaten to target Riyadh and Abu Dhabi

A man brandishes a knife as tribal gunmen loyal to the Houthi militia protest in Sanaa on Saturday. (AFP)
Updated 17 March 2019
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Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants threaten to target Riyadh and Abu Dhabi

  • The Iran-backed Houthis have targeted Saudi border towns and Riyadh with ballistic missiles
  • Threat came as the United Nations tries to salvage a truce deal in Hodeidah

SANAA: Yemen’s Houthi militia warned on Saturday they could launch attacks against the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The threat came as the United Nations was trying to salvage a truce deal in Yemen, seen as crucial to diplomatic efforts to end the country’s four-year war.
The Iran-backed Houthis have targeted Saudi border towns and Riyadh with ballistic missiles.
“We have aerial photographs and coordinates of dozens of headquarters, facilities and military bases of the enemy,” militant military spokesman Yahya Saree said in comments carried by the group’s Al-Masirah channel.
“The legitimate targets of our forces extend to the capital of Saudi Arabia and to the emirate of Abu Dhabi,” he said.
“We have manufactured advanced generations of attack aircraft, and new systems will soon be functional.”
The militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab Coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.
On Wednesday the UN Security Council met to discuss the stalled truce deal that had been agreed in Sweden in December between the Yemeni government and the Houthis.
The deal – which called for a cease-fire, rebel pullback and mutual redeployment from Hodeidah, Yemen’s main Red Sea port controlled by the militants — offered the best hope in years of moving toward an end to the conflict.
While the fighting in Hodeida has eased, redeployment efforts have stalled in recent weeks.
UN envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Wednesday he was still working to make the redeployment a “reality.”
The World Health Organization estimates nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.

The latest warning “shows the extent of the Houthi threat,” the Saudi political analyst Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News.

“The longer the international community does not take any action against the Houthis, the more difficult it will be to achieve stability and security.

“Sadly, the Stockholm agreement was just ink on paper that the Houthis did not abide by. Houthis kill civilians in Yemen every day and breach agreements.

“In fact, if they are not stopped, the Yemeni conflict will take even longer and may never reach a solution. 

“Saudi Arabia and the UAE have supported Yemen for decades. The Houthis are terrorist militias and we are countries that respect international law. This is the difference between us and them.”

• With AFP

 

 


Council of Arab Interior Ministers calls for cooperation to alleviate suffering of terrorism victims

Updated 23 April 2019
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Council of Arab Interior Ministers calls for cooperation to alleviate suffering of terrorism victims

  • Mohammed bin Ali Koman says the situation requires the cooperation of all to alleviate the suffering of the victims and their families
  • He was commemorating Arab Day to raise awareness of the pain of victims of terrorist acts

TUNIS: Not only does the harm caused by terrorist crimes affect innocent victims, it also leaves their families and communities with psychological and social pain, the Secretary-General of the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior has said.

This situation requires the cooperation of all to alleviate the suffering of the victims and their families and help them overcome their predicament, Dr. Mohammed bin Ali Koman said.

Koman was commemorating Arab Day to raise awareness of the pain of victims of terrorist acts, held every year on April 22 by the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, member states and the League of Arab States.

“Today is an opportunity to raise awareness of the pain and tragedies of victims of terrorist attacks and encourage all initiatives undertaken by official bodies and civil society organizations to alleviate their suffering,” he said.

“The effects of terrorist crimes have exceeded aggression against human lives and property to psychological and social impacts as well as affecting families,” he said.

“Terrorist crimes result in a continuous bleeding to the heart of affected communities, especially with the terrorist media being devoted to inspiring and promoting their criminal operations, which have affected thousands of victims, including children, women and the elderly.”

He hailed the efforts of the security services in their fight against terrorism and the great improvement in reducing its crimes in recent years, expressing his sympathies for the victims and his support for their families to overcome the aftermath of these crimes.

Koman stressed that the Council of Arab Interior Ministers has taken special measures to raise awareness about the pain of victims of terrorist acts, including the development of media programs to raise security awareness and improve citizens’ contribution to countering terrorist acts in implementation of the Arab counter-terrorism strategy. This was in addition to assigning the Arab bureau for security-related information activities, which operates under the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers, to prepare media programs and materials to raise awareness about the dangers of terrorist acts and the suffering they cause.

He highlighted that the council’s efforts go beyond raising awareness to taking concrete measures to support the victims of terrorist acts, including members of the Arab security services and their families.

Koman said that these efforts include the establishment of an Arab security solidarity fund to cover the expenses of medical, social, and psychological support for Arab police and security personnel and their families, in addition to the development of a model for the organizational structure of a department in the security services specializing in psychological counseling.

“The department will be operated by social workers and psychologists who have the capacity to help victims overcome the pain and tragedy of terrorism,” he said.

Koman praised the efforts of Arab countries in assisting the victims of terrorist acts and alleviating their suffering, including providing financial and moral support and providing them with treatment and privileges, such as monthly wages, scholarships for their families and medals of honors to their martyrs.

He urged public and civil society institutions to develop awareness-raising efforts through holding seminars and organizing events to remember the suffering of the victims and provide them with social, psychological and financial support.

Koman concluded by saying a prayer for the victims harmed by terrorist acts and members of the security services who died foiling terrorist crimes and fighting terrorists.