50 Houthis killed in battle

Updated 14 December 2015
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50 Houthis killed in battle

JAZAN: With battles still raging at the Saudi-Yemeni border, the enemy is forcing large numbers of its fighters to pass through in a bid to penetrate the border, promising their fighters they are near a big victory, but incurring more human losses, equivalent to half of these large forces during each battle.

At the same time, the joint military force is still in control in every area of the border, deterring any attempts to infiltrate Saudi territory.
Al Ekhbariya satellite TV channel, the Ministry of Culture and Information-operated Arabic channel, featured an extensive detailed news report on the battles. This past Friday, the channel’s news reporter was there on the battlefield describing some of the details of the happenings on the ground, near Wadi Almoghaialh in Jazan, where a surveillance tower for the joint military forces is keeping a close eye on the area. The tower witnessed one of the biggest attacks from the enemy side on Friday.
"About 200 fighters of the enemy forces advanced with weaponry close to the border. The joint military force saw them and engaged them in a four-hour battle, killing more than 50 of the enemy fighters. Two soldiers of the joint force were martyred and one injured during the battle," said reporter Khalid Al-Janahi.
Brig. Abdullah Al-Juaid, a commander of the joint force who was one of the fighters at the front, described the situation as reassuring. He said: "The valley is full of the bodies of the enemy fighters and we are in full control."
The enemy was showering Almoghaialh center with weapons including Katyusha rockets, mortar shells, artillery and tanks. Also during Friday’s operations, hostile elements were seen in separate locations moving on the border, but the Saudi soldiers dealt with them opening direct fire, killing 12 of them, and destroying two vehicles and one rocket launcher.
News reports by the TV channel explained that the Houthis and the supporting battalions of the Republican Guard, in addition to the forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh, tried to launch more attacks on the border in the Jazan sector to achieve results and occupy locations to acquire favorable positions ahead of the Geneva negotiations.
Khalid Rashid, the channel's cameraman, said: "I honestly feel that my camera is helpless in transmitting the facts and realities lived by the Saudi soldier on the battlefield while protecting his country. It is not easy at all to show viewers how the Saudi soldier, standing on the border, protecting the country, is very outstanding and different in everything, in his rationale and thinking, in his actions and behavior. He is a true hero indeed. I wish I could roam with my camera the city of Sanaa to register the joy of the Yemeni people for liberating their country."
Another member of the news team, Imad Al-Ameer said: "What these soldiers do makes me feel small and falling short of doing anything for my country. Their actions actually say 'My soul is a mere sacrifice for my country.' They are brave men, loyal to each other and to their country."
He added that Saudi soldiers possess, in addition to their bravery and good physical strength, high combat skills, knowledge of technical and technological sciences.


Visit to Pakistan, India and China proves strategic for Saudi Arabia

Updated 24 February 2019
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Visit to Pakistan, India and China proves strategic for Saudi Arabia

  • Benefits of three-country tour include billions in economic deals as well as security initiatives

JEDDAH: The three-country tour of Asia by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that came to a close this weekend was an economic and strategic success, experts say.

“Saudi Arabia might be seen by some as moving to the East,” Salman Al-Ansari, founder of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), told Arab News. “The correct way to put it is that it’s spreading its wings East and West.

“Economic diversification requires strategic diversification. This should not be seen in any way as Saudi Arabia giving the cold shoulder to its most trusted allies, specifically the US,” he said. “And as Joseph Parry said: ‘Make new friends but keep the old; those are silver, these are gold.’”

The tour, which saw Saudi Arabia’s crown prince warmly welcomed by the leaders of Pakistan, India and China, is in line with the crown prince’s Vision 2030, which plans to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy that relies on crude oil exports into a vibrant, diversified economy. The tour resulted in billions of dollars in economic deals as well as initiatives to increase security and combat terrorism.

“Saudi Arabia is the one and only country that can take the leadership position on the global efforts of combating terrorism, specifically in the ideological front,” Al-Ansari said.

Hamdan Al-Shehri, a political analyst and international relations scholar, said that China and Saudi Arabia have the same goals of security and stability. “China shares the Kingdom’s concerns and it knows that our continent has suffered from terrorism issues and international interventions and also troubles in the region.”

The two countries also improved on their mutually beneficial economic ties. As Al-Shehri pointed out: “China needs a huge energy source, and Saudi Arabia is one of these sources that can provide China with energy.”

One significant deal is the $10 billion refining and petrochemical complex, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Norinco, to be developed in the Chinese city of Panjin.

Also of great geopolitical significance is the $10-billion oil-refinery in Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, as it is one of the most important parts of China’s One Belt, One Road Initiative, Al-Shehri said. “Global players are willing to invest in this project. The Kingdom’s investment in this field will serve Pakistan and will benefit the Kingdom as well as the (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).”

And despite its historical relationship with Pakistan, Al-Shehri said that the Kingdom also found common ground with India. For instance, the two countries agreed to set up a working group on counter-terrorism. 

“India shares the Kingdom’s concern about instability in the seas, such as the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. These are all places of global trade,” Al-Shehri said, adding that he hopes the Kingdom will play a role in resolving border points of contention between Pakistan and India as it did between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

It wasn’t all just business. The crown prince’s tour included some other announcements, including that 2,100 Pakistani and 850 Indian prisoners will be released from the Kingdom’s jails, that the Chinese language will be introduced in the Saudi school curriculum and that Saudi Arabia will soon host several concerts featuring major Bollywood performers.

The crown prince also called for the creation of a health center in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province dedicated to the memory of a Pakistani hero who saved 14 lives in Jeddah’s 2009 floods.