Hezbollah ‘training Houthis for new terrorist attacks’

Hezbollah ‘training Houthis for new terrorist attacks’
Updated 27 February 2016

Hezbollah ‘training Houthis for new terrorist attacks’

Hezbollah ‘training Houthis for new terrorist attacks’

DUBAI: The Lebanese-based Hezbollah is involved in terrorist activities in Yemen and is planning terror attacks in Saudi Arabia, according to Al Arabiya News Channel.
It said the government in Yemen confirmed that Hezbollah is directly caught up with the war tearing through the country between legitimate forces and terrorists.
The insurgency is being led by Houthis and militias affiliated with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The video cited by Al Arabiya featured a Hezbollah commander referred to as “Abu-Saleh,” who is responsible for training Houthi terrorists. Training revolved around terror operations to be staged in Saudi Arabia in the future.
Also Thursday, Asharq Al-Awsat reported that the rising death toll among Hezbollah cadres in Syria has pushed Tehran toward sending more Iranian troops to the battlefronts there.
A higher number of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) troops are now fighting alongside Bashar Assad’s forces, especially after the increase of Hezbollah deaths on Syrian battlefronts.
Citing the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Asharq Al-Awsat also said that not less than 865 Hezbollah combatants were killed between September 2012 and February 2016 in Syria.
According to the report, Saudi officials said that Iran is using Afghan refugees to fight along with Hezbollah and Assad’s forces in Syria.
Iran sent thousands of Shiite Afghan refugees to fight alongside Iranian troops and Hezbollah. Refugees in Iran are being threatened with deportation back to Afghanistan if they did not join the battle in Syria, said the report.
Thousands of Afghan troops are joining the “A-Fatimiyin” brigade — the second largest group of combatants fighting next to the Assad regime, according to the report.
An Iranian agency recently gave details of 68 Iranian soldiers killed last month in brawls against the Syrian opposition. Most of them died in Aleppo’s northern rural areas, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.


Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
Updated 16 min 56 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials

Saudi Arabia’s first COVID-19 vaccine set for clinical trials
  • It will go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority

RIYADH: Preclinical studies on the first Saudi vaccine against COVID-19 have been completed.

Professor of epidemiology Dr. Iman Almansour, who heads the team of researchers working on the vaccine at the Institute for Research and Medical Consultations (IRMC), affiliated with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU), confirmed to Arab News on Friday that the studies were complete, and said clinical trials would begin as soon as “the proper approvals” had been given.

She did not specify when that is expected to happen.

The Ministry of Education is financing the team’s project. The team’s research paper has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmaceuticals.

According to the published paper, the vaccine has so far proven effective, when used on animals, in eliciting antibodies that will target the virus. “The vaccine is given to the body to build protein inside cells, which stimulate the body to produce immunity specific to the S antigen,” Dr. Almansour explained.

Dr. Turki Almugaiteeb, director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at RPD Innovations, which runs the National Vaccine and Biomanufacturing Center, told Arab News: “There is a great focus on the results of medical research because of the pandemic. Research can play a great role in developing a vaccine that can be adopted and further developed in the future. We can say that the Kingdom has a strong infrastructure, which can help produce and manufacture a national vaccine.”

Both Almugaiteeb and Almansour stressed that the experimental vaccine will need to go through rigorous testing and several trial stages before it is approved for use by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority.

Prof. Nasser Al-Aqeeli, the deputy minister of education for research and innovation, said the ministry supported programs at the Kingdom’s universities with more than SR500 million ($133.3 million) in 2020.