Human Rights Watch declares Houthi Abha airport attack a ‘war crime’ as another missile targets city

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A picture taken during a guided tour with the Saudi military on June 13, 2019 shows the damage on the roof of Abha airport in the popular mountain resort of the same name in the southwest of Saudi Arabia, one day after a Yemeni rebel missile attack on the civil airport wounded 26 civilians. (AFP)
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Damage of Saudi Arabia's Abha airport is seen after it was attacked by Yemen's Houthi group in Abha, Saudi Arabia June 12, 2019. (SPA)
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This photograph shows damage inside Abha Regional Airport after an attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels in Abha, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (SPA)
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A picture taken during a guided tour with the Saudi military on June 13, 2019 shows damage on the roof of Abha airport, one day after a Houthi missile attack on the civil airport. (AFP)
Updated 16 June 2019
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Human Rights Watch declares Houthi Abha airport attack a ‘war crime’ as another missile targets city

  • Human Rights Watch urged the Houthis to stop attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia
  • The Houthi attack on the southwestern Saudi town of Abha's regional airport wounded 26 people Wednesday

CAIRO: A leading rights group has called an attack by the Iranian-backed Houthis on Abha airport in Saudi Arabia an "apparent war crime" as the city was targeted again Saturday by the militia's missiles.

An Al Arabiya reported said Saudi forces intercepted a ballistic missile above the southwestern Saudi city. On Friday, Saudi forces intercepted five drones from Yemen, the Arab military coalition fighting to support the government said.

The drones targeted Abha airport, where a Houthi missile on Wednesday injured 26 civilians, and the nearby city of Khamis Mushait.

Human Rights Watch on Saturday urged the Houthis to stop attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. "Commanders who order deliberate or indiscriminate attacks on civilian objects are responsible for war crimes," the group said.

The coalition targeted Houthi military sites in Sanaa on Saturday, including the militia’s air defense systems, Al Arabiya reported.

The spokesperson of the coalition, Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the operation aimed to destroy the Houthi militia’s threat to regional and international security.

*With AP


Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

Updated 21 July 2019
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Makkah Route: Health services presented to Hajjis in their home countries

  • 257,981 pilgrims benefited from the "preventive services" since the new initiative’s launch

RIYADH: One of the services provided by the Makkah Route initiative, which aims to smooth the Hajj journey of pilgrims and provide top-quality service, is to ensure that all health requirements are met.

The Communication, Relations and Health Awareness General Department of the Ministry of Health is implementing the initiative in two ways. 

The first is to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa (Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Tunisia). 

The second is to check that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

“Preventive measures” mean, for example, providing polio vaccines for pilgrims. The vaccine, approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), is provided through the Pakistani health authorities at the departure area of the airport.

“The ministry is also deploying a team of five people qualified to supervise the application of health requirements and assess the vaccination procedure and the application of preventive measures,” the department added.   


HIGHLIGHTS

The Makkah Route initiative aims to ensure that the proper application of the health requirements for Hajj and Umrah is followed in targeted countries before issuing the Kingdom’s entry visa.

The initiative also ensures that preventive measures are taken according to the world’s epidemiological situation, for instance in Pakistan.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals.

The teams include 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.


The ministry’s procedures in the departure hall include prepping emergency clinics at the points where Makkah Route pilgrims are received. 

These clinics deal with urgent cases, prepare awareness information for pilgrims and coordinate with the General Authority of Civil Aviation regarding their distribution on the targeted airlines.

The workforce at the different land, air, and sea entry/exit points during this year’s Hajj season numbers more than 1,700 individuals, including 131 experienced doctors, general health specialists, epidemiological monitors, and other staff to provide the necessary treatment and preventive services to pilgrims.

The ministry stated that the number of health practitioners assigned to the service of pilgrims during Hajj “is more than 30,000.”

The ministry encourages volunteering during the Hajj season; it believes that it is a very important and noble service toward fellow citizens, nations and the religion, where Islam highly encourages volunteering and serving others.

The ministry is coordinating the major institutions and commissions via its Hajj volunteering link to register volunteers so that they can participate through the societal partnership program.

The missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices provide basic treatment services and refer patients to the ministry’s health facilities, keeping an eye on the overall health situation and reporting any suspicious infectious diseases. 

The ministry monitors all the health institutions and medical missions affiliated with the pilgrim’s affairs offices to make sure the health requirements are being properly applied, to ensure pilgrims’ safety and guarantee an environment free of infectious diseases.

The Health Ministry has confirmed that so far that there has been no incidence of any epidemic diseases or quarantine cases recorded among pilgrims, who arrived and the health situation is reassuring.

Since the first of Dul Qaada, the ministry has provided preventive services, via access points, to 257,981 pilgrims, with a total rate of commitment to vaccination reached  87.4 percent for meningitis, 67.3 percent for yellow fever and 95.3 percent for polio.