Arab League sends out invites to Arab states to attend summit called by King Salman

The Arab League has sent out invitations to Arab leaders to hold an emergency Arab summit. (File/AFP)
Updated 20 May 2019
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Arab League sends out invites to Arab states to attend summit called by King Salman

  • Lebanese President Michel Aoun confirmed that he received an invitation
  • Two oil pump stations were attacked earlier this week in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Arab League has sent out invitations to Arab leaders to hold an emergency Arab summit, called by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, to be held in Makkah on May 30 to discuss the attacks on commercial ships.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun confirmed that he received an invitation from the king to attend the Islamic Summit Conference's fourteenth session to be held in Makkah to discuss the situation in the region.

"I am very confident that the participation of your Excellency will have a great impact on the success of this summit and its results, and look forward to welcoming your Excellency to your second country, Saudi Arabia. And contribute to raising them and will," the invitation read.

President Aoun consulted on King Salman's invitation with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who will lead the Lebanese delegation to the summit in Makkah.

Two oil pump stations were attacked earlier this week in Saudi Arabia by the Iran-backed Houthi militia, just days after four commercial ships were sabotaged off the coast of the UAE.  

The league's council will discuss the ramifications of the attacks on regional and international peace, as well as the stability of the oil markets.


Iran says Revolutionary Guard shoots down US drone

Updated 55 sec ago
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Iran says Revolutionary Guard shoots down US drone

  • The attacks come against the backdrop of heightened tensions between the US and Iran
  • Capt. Bill Urban, a US Central Command spokesman, declined to comment when asked if an American drone was shot down

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Thursday it shot down a US drone amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over its collapsing nuclear deal. The US military declined to immediately comment.
The reported shootdown of the RQ-4 Global Hawk comes after the US military previously alleged Iran fired a missile at another drone last week that responded to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman. The US blames Iran for the attack on the ships, which Tehran denies.
The attacks come against the backdrop of heightened tensions between the US and Iran following President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers a year ago.
Iran recently has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium and threatened to boost its enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels, trying to pressure Europe for new terms to the 2015 deal.
In recent weeks, the US has sped an aircraft carrier to the Mideast and deployed additional troops to the tens of thousands already in the region. Mysterious attacks also have targeted oil tankers as Iranian-allied Houthi rebels launched bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.
All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the US and Iran into an open conflict, some 40 years after Tehran’s Islamic Revolution.
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said it shot down the drone Thursday morning when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province. Kouhmobarak is some 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) southeast of Tehran and is close to the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, citing the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, identified the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk.
Capt. Bill Urban, a US Central Command spokesman, declined to comment when asked if an American drone was shot down.
However, he told The Associated Press: “There was no drone over Iranian territory.”