JIAT to join Yemen bombing probe, US advice to be sought

Yemenis are complaining that Houthi militias have blocked instant messaging application, WhatsApp, to sabotage calls for mass protests against their atrocities (Source: Twitter)
Updated 10 October 2016
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JIAT to join Yemen bombing probe, US advice to be sought

JEDDAH: The Saudi-led coalition, supporting the legitimate government in Yemen, said on Sunday it was deeply saddened by the regrettable and painful bombing of the great hall in Sanaa on Saturday, which reportedly led to deaths and injuries.

“The coalition will immediately investigate this case along with the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) in Yemen, and the team will seek advice from the US which can help with their experiences and lessons learned in such investigations,” the coalition said in a statement sent to Arab News.
“The coalition is also willing to provide the investigation team with any data and information related to its military operations on Sunday, at the incident’s location and surrounding areas. The result of the investigation should be announced as soon as it’s completed,” added the statement.
“The coalition expressed its deepest condolences and support to the families of the victims of hostilities since the coup in Yemen in 2014. The coalition confirms that its troops have clear instructions not to target populated areas and to avoid civilians,” the statement added
Also on Sunday, Saudi air defenses intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by Houthi militias targeting Maarib, and Taif inside the Kingdom. Earlier in the day, the coalition forces repelled an attack by Houthi militias and forces loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh, which tried to reach the Saudi border off Al-Khubah in Jazan region.
The militias’ infantry tried to attack the Saudi border on several points through the Yemeni mountains bordering Saudi Arabia, especially Mount Razih, but was foiled by an attack carried out by the coalition jet fighters and artillery.
Military sources said dozens of militants died in the attack. Their military vehicles and missile launchers were also destroyed.
The coalition takes all measures to ensure that its airstrikes are precisely conducted to avoid civilian gatherings, its spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri told Arab News earlier.
“The coalition has always avoided such gatherings and these have never been targets of the air raids,” Al-Assiri explained. Accusations against the coalition come as Yemeni citizens in Sanaa continue to stage massive demonstrations against the Houthi militias, who have caused damage and wreaked havoc on Yemen since they took over the capital two years ago, helped by the forces supporting former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Meanwhile, in a desperate attempt, Houthis set up roadblocks and disperse their troops in the streets to prevent citizens from responding to calls on social media to gather in the center of the capital, eyewitnesses from Sanaa said.
Over the past two days, the hashtag “ana nazel” (I am participating) has been trending on social media, vowing to sustain the protest against the Houthi militias, accused of starving the Yemeni people and failing to pay public servants’ salaries for the past two months. Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi had transferred the Yemeni Central Bank from Sanaa to Aden two months back.


US Chargé d’Affaires to Saudi Arabia congratulates King Salman on National Day

Updated 23 min 29 sec ago
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US Chargé d’Affaires to Saudi Arabia congratulates King Salman on National Day

JEDDAH: The US Chargé d’Affaires to Saudi Arabia Christopher Henzel has issued a statement congratulating King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Kingdom’s people on its National Day.
Henzel’s statement read: “On behalf of the United States of America and all my colleagues here at the Embassy and our Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran, I extend our congratulations to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and the people of Saudi Arabia on your national day.
“Our partnership with Saudi Arabia extends from our close security cooperation to our strong relations in business and exchange programs. Together we are working to promote the security and prosperity of both our countries.
“Through our educational and cultural exchange programs we learn from each other and deepen our partnership. Over many decades hundreds of thousands of Saudi and American officials, tourists, business representatives, and students have traveled between our countries and in the process have cemented our strong ties.
“I wish the people of Saudi Arabia success in all their endeavors and look forward to a bright future as our two countries continue to work together.”