International condemnation of Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport

The missile hit the arrivals hall of Abha airport. (SPA)
Updated 13 June 2019
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International condemnation of Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport

  • UAE said the act was proof of the Houthi militia’s attempts to undermine regional security
  • US Embassy in Saudi Arabia condemned in the strongest terms the Houthi militia attack which 'targeted innocent civilians'

RIYADH: Leaders from around the Arab world have condemned a Houthi missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha International Airport.  

In the early hours of Wednesday, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia targeted the airport in southern Saudi Arabia, which injured 26 civilians, an Arab coalition spokesman said.

The UAE, in its condemnation of the attack, said the act was proof of the Houthi militia’s attempts to “undermine regional security.”

In a statement, the Emirati foreign ministry renewed its “full solidarity” with Saudi Arabia and said it “stands with Riyadh against any threat to the Kingdom’s security and stability.”

The UAE also renewed its support for all measures taken to combat extremism and Houthi terrorism to preserve the Kingdom’s security and the safety of its citizens and residents on its territory.

The ministry also wished the injured a speedy recovery.

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Houthi missile hits Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport injuring 26 people

TIMELINE: Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

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Bahrain also said on Wednesday that it “strongly condemned” the attack, calling it a “terrorist and cowardly criminal act against innocent civilians.”

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry expressed support with “the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and affirmed “the need for a strong-willed international stand against Iran to stop it supporting these recurrent terrorist acts.”

Kuwait echoed Bahrain’s condemnation of the targeting, saying that the targeting was a “criminal attack” on innocent people.

The Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed expressed his and his country’s condemnation of the sinful terrorist act that targeted innocent lives and destabilized security and stability.

In a cable sent to King Salman, the amir reiterated Kuwait’s support for all measures taken by the Kingdom to confront terrorism and preserve its security.

The US Embassy in Saudi Arabia condemned in the strongest terms the Houthi militia attack which “targeted innocent civilians."


The US Mission in the Kingdom also issued a security alert and said the Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran are monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said the attack showed “new evidence” of Iran's malicious role in the region.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also condemned the Houthi criminal act and called on all to similarly condemn the attack, Al-Arabiya TV reported. 

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said the attack on the Kingdom’s territory represented a “serious escalation.”

Egypt said it stands by Saudi Arabia following the attack, calling for an immediate halt to all attacks on Saudi territory, saying it will “defy any attempt to target” the Kingdom.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry also condemned the “terrorist attack” on the airport, and that Jordan supports Saudi Arabia in all measures taken to preserve its security.

Speaker of the Arab Parliament Mishal bin Fahm Al-Salami denounced the attack. In a statement Al-Salami called on the UN Security Council to adopt a firm position to classify the Houthi militia as a terrorist group for its flagrant violation of international law.

He affirmed the Arab Parliament’s support for the Kingdom and the measures taken to address all threats to its security and stability and the safety of its citizens.

Pakistan also condemned the attack. “Pakistan reiterates its full support and solidarity with the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against any threats to its security and territorial integrity,” a statement from the Foreign Office in Islamabad said. 

Ambassador of Djibouti to Saudi Arabia Dya-Eddin Said Bamakhrama said that his country condemned the aggression, which was a serious escalation of the conflict, and declared its solidarity with Saudi Arabia.

The legitimate Yemeni government said that the Houthis did not understand dialogue and diplomacy, and only understood the language of weapons and force. The Arab Coalition and the legitimate government had no choice but to resort to military options to end Houthi terrorism, the government’s spokesman Rajeh Badi said.

The attack follows an armed drone strike last month on two oil-pumping stations in Saudi Arabia. The Houthis have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Since the beginning of the four-year conflict, the Houthis have fired dozens of missiles into the Kingdom with most intercepted by the Saudi military. In recent weeks, tensions between warring parties have risen after the stalling of a UN-led peace deal.


Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

Updated 26 June 2019
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Innovative Saudi cultural center showcases world-famous ‘The Scream’ artist’s exhibition

  • 40 works by Edvard Munch go on display for first time in Middle East

DHAHRAN: A dynamic Saudi cultural center is to showcase the works of one of the world’s most famous painters in an exhibition-first for the Middle East.

Forty pieces by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic “The Scream” painting, will go on public display at the King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra).

The special exhibition, titled “Landscapes of the Soul,” is the latest in a series of high-profile cultural events to be staged at the showpiece exhibition in Dhahran.

Developed by Saudi Aramco with the aim of stimulating knowledge, creativity and cross-cultural engagement, Ithra’s theater, museum, exhibition hall and art gallery complex forms a key part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan to promote culture and entertainment.

The Munch exhibition, which runs until Sept. 3, portrays the artist’s personal life experiences of misery, love, despair, loneliness and reflections of the soul, through his distinctive works.

“It is such an honor to host and introduce to Saudi Arabia, and indeed, the Middle East, the work of the world-renowned artist Edvard Munch,” Rania Biltagi, Ithra’s head of communications and partnership, told Arab News.

Munch’s (1863-1944) original exhibition has been located in Oslo, Norway since 1963, and the Saudi display is being staged in Ithra’s Great Hall in partnership with the Munch Museum in Norway.

As well as a lithograph version of his most famous painting “The Scream,” other works on show will include “Summer Night. The Voice,” 1894, “Self-Portrait,” 1895, and “The Sick Child,” 1896.

“A moment that stood out from the opening was when speaking to a couple visiting the exhibit, they mentioned that they were Norwegian and working in Saudi,” Biltagi said. “They explained that they had never had the chance to visit the Munch Museum in their homeland and what an unexpected pleasure it was to be able to see Munch’s work in Saudi.”

Biltagi added that the event epitomized the aim of Ithra in providing a platform to bring together cultures as well as people.

The center, featured in Time magazine’s list of the world’s top 100 places to visit, is a pioneer on the Kingdom’s culture and arts scene, organizing a variety of events, performances, programs and experiences to suit all ages and backgrounds. Previous exhibitions have included a focus on Saudi contemporary art, Leonardo da Vinci, and installations symbolizing creativity and innovation.