Saudi Arabia, Bahrain voice support for US missile strike on Syria

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain voice support for US missile strike on Syria
US President Donald Trump ordered a massive military strike against a Syria on Thursday. (AFP/US NAVY)
Updated 07 April 2017

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain voice support for US missile strike on Syria

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain voice support for US missile strike on Syria

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are among the first Middle Eastern nations to have expressed support for the US missile strike on Syria early Friday, which came in response to an apparent chemical attack by President Bashar Assad’s regime.

 

An official source at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed the Kingdom’s “strong support for the military operations carried out against military targets in Syria,” according to a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

 

The US strike “came in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime against innocent civilians that caused the deaths of scores of people, including women and children,” the statement said. 


 

The official source places the responsibility for these military operations squarely on the Syrian regime.

 

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump ordered a massive military strike on a Syrian air base in retaliation for a “barbaric” chemical attack he blamed on Assad.

 


The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs source described the move as a “courageous decision” after the failure of the international community to stop the Syrian regime “from brutalizing its people.”

 

Bahrain also welcomed the US military strikes that followed the apparent chemical attack targeting the town of Khan Sheikhun in Syria. Bahrain said the move was necessary to save the lives of the Syrian people and prevent the spread and use of banned weapons against innocent civilians. 

 

The Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday underlined the huge efforts exerted by the US in combating terrorism, and asserted the Kingdom’s support in this regard. 

 

It called on all parties to commit to working seriously and transparently to end the Syrian people’s suffering, and to implement a cease-fire to pave the way for negotiations and a comprehensive political solution.

 

The Syrian army said that at least six people were killed and serious damage was caused by the strike on an airbase in the centre of the country.

 

“At 3:42 am (0042 GMT) the United States carried out a flagrant aggression with missiles against one of our airbases in the central region, killing six people and wounding a number of others, and causing significant damage,” a spokesman said, reading from a statement on state television, without specifying whether the casualties were civilian or military.

 

In a brief televised address delivered hours after the UN Security Council failed to agree on a probe into the apparent chemical attack, Trump confirmed the US strike on Syria and urged “all civilized nations” to unite to end the bloodshed in the country.

 


“On Tuesday Syrian dictator Bashar Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent,” Trump said. “Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack.”


 

“Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.”


 

“Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types,” Trump said.


 

The US military fired dozens of cruise missiles at the Shayrat Airfield at 8:45 p.m. Eastern Time (0000 GMT), officials said.

 

Some Russian officials believe that the US air strikes on a Syrian airbase could undermine efforts to fight terrorism, RIA news agency quoted Viktor Ozerov, the head of the defence and security committee at the Russian upper house of parliament, as saying on Friday.


 

He also said that Russia would call for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council.


 

A White House official said 59 “precision munitions” had been blasted at the base, while a US defense official said “dozens” of Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched.


 

The missiles were fired from the USS Porter and the USS Ross, which belong to the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet and are located in the eastern Mediterranean. A US official said the missiles targeted aircraft and runways at the base.


 

The sudden US military action against the Assad regime marks a stunning development in Syria’s brutal, six-year conflict and a sudden about-face for Trump.


 

It came despite a warning from Russia of potential “negative consequences” if Washington strikes Syria.


 

“All responsibility if military action occurs will be on the shoulders of those who initiated such a doubtful tragic enterprise,” Russian Ambassador to the UN Vladimir Safronkov said.


A US official said Washington had informed Russia ahead of the Syria strike.


 

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had earlier vowed an “appropriate response” to the attack in Khan Sheikhun in rebel-held Idlib province, which killed at least 86 people, including 27 children.


 

The White House official said the US assesses that the Assad regime used a chemical nerve agent consistent with sarin in Tuesday’s attacks.

 

The fast-moving events come just days after the Trump administration had signaled it was no longer seeking the Syrian leader’s departure from power.
 The attack on Khan Sheikhun appears to have marked a turning point for Trump and his administration.


 

On Wednesday Trump decried the attack as an “affront to humanity.” He seemed horrified by photographs showing dead children and victims suffering convulsions, breathing problems and foaming at the mouth.


 

“It crossed a lot of lines for me,” Trump said, alluding to Barack Obama’s failure to enforce his own “red line” on the use of chemical weapons in Syria four years ago.


 

In 2013, Trump had urged then-president Obama not to intervene against Assad.
 In a startling about-turn, Tillerson called Thursday for “a political process that would lead to Assad leaving” and said his future role in the country was “uncertain.”


 

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem on Thursday repeated the regime’s denial it conducted a chemical strike.


 

“The Syrian army has not, did not and will not use this kind of weapons — not just against our own people, but even against the terrorists that attack our civilians with their mortar rounds,” he said.


 

Russia has stood by its longtime ally, with President Vladimir Putin warning against a rush to judgment.


 

Putin underlined “the unacceptability of making unfounded accusations against anyone before a thorough and impartial international investigation is carried out.”


 

The UN children’s agency UNICEF says at least 546 people were wounded in the suspected chemical attack.


 

More than 30 people were transferred across the border into Turkey for treatment, and Ankara said a preliminary probe found a link between these injuries and sarin.

 

(With Agencies)

 


Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post

Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post
Updated 4 min 47 sec ago

Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post

Saudi foreign minister congratulates Algerian counterpart on assuming his post

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan made a phone call on Monday to the his Algerian counterpart Ramdane Lamamra, during which he congratulated him on assuming his post.
Prince Faisal said he looked forward to working with him in strengthening relations between the two countries, the Kingdom’s foreign ministry said.
During the call, they reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them to achieve the interests of both countries, in addition to discussing regional and international developments of common concern.


4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk

4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk
Updated 24 min 30 sec ago

4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk

4 Saudis arrested for distributing drugs in Qassim, Tabuk
  • Initial legal measures have been taken against them and they have been referred to the Public Prosecution

RIYADH: Saudi authorities on Monday arrested four nationals for trying to distribute a large quantity of drugs.
“Security monitoring of the activities of criminal networks that promote narcotics resulted in the arrest of four citizens in the Qassim and Tabuk regions for promoting narcotic substances,” said Maj. Mohammed Al-Nujaidi, spokesman for the General Directorate of Narcotics Control.
He added that officials seized 75,855 amphetamine tablets, 38 kg of hashish, 9,160 pills subject to the regulation of medical circulation, 74 grams of shabu (methamphetamine), a firearm, ammunition and cash.
Al-Nujaidi said the initial legal measures have been taken against the four nationals, and they have been referred to the Public Prosecution.


Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths, 27.3m vaccines given to date

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 508,994 after 1,620 more patients recovered from the virus. (SPA/File Photo)
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 508,994 after 1,620 more patients recovered from the virus. (SPA/File Photo)
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 10 more COVID-19 deaths, 27.3m vaccines given to date

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 508,994 after 1,620 more patients recovered from the virus. (SPA/File Photo)
  • A total of 8,259 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far
  • 5 mosques reopened in 3 regions after being sterilized after some people tested positive for COVID-19

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 10 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,063 new infections on Monday.

Of the new cases, 244 were recorded in Makkah, 217 in Riyadh, 152 in the Eastern Province, 108 in Asir, 88 in Jazan, 70  in Madinah, 45 in Najran, 44 in Hail, 20 in the Northern Borders region, 18 in Tabuk, 17 in Al-Baha, and five in Al-Jouf.

The Ministry of Health confirmed 1,063 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 527, people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 10,624 remain active and 1,3434 in critical condition.

Of the new cases, 244 were recorded in Makkah, 217 in Riyadh, 152 in the Eastern Province, 108 in Asir, 88 in Jazan, 70  in Madinah, 45 in Najran, 44 in Hail, 20 in the Northern Borders region, 18 in Tabuk, 17 in Al-Baha, and five in Al-Jouf.

The health ministry also announced that 1,620 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 527,877.
Over 27.3 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.

The ministry urged all students to quickly take the first dose of the vaccine so they may take the second dose before the start of the academic year.
The Ministry of Islamic Affairs reopened five mosques in three regions after temporarily evacuating and sterilizing them after some people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed and reopened after being sterilized to 1,928 within 177 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 199 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 4.24 million.


Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches
  • Similar penalties would also apply to operators or owners of the means of transportation

RIYADH: The Saudi Public Prosecution office has warned it will impose fines of up to SR500,000 ($133,323) on passengers breaching travel ban restrictions by boarding flights to countries hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Similar penalties would also apply to operators or owners of the means of transportation.

In a tweet on Sunday, officials added that severe punitive measures would be taken against travelers who failed to disclose they had visited any countries listed on the Kingdom’s COVID-19 travel ban list.


Saudi HR ministry launches tough measures for unvaccinated workers

A nurse speaks to a man before administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine as part of a vaccination campaign by the Saudi health ministry, in Riyadh. (AFP file photo)
A nurse speaks to a man before administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine as part of a vaccination campaign by the Saudi health ministry, in Riyadh. (AFP file photo)
Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi HR ministry launches tough measures for unvaccinated workers

A nurse speaks to a man before administering the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine as part of a vaccination campaign by the Saudi health ministry, in Riyadh. (AFP file photo)
  • Authorities instruct all institutions to require proof of immunity against COVID-19 from employees

JEDDAH: Unvaccinated employees within the Saudi public, private, and nonprofit sectors will have their leave days deducted until they receive a COVID-19 jab, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has warned.

The ministry issued a statement on Sunday clarifying procedures to deal with unvaccinated employees following the Ministry of Interior’s instruction for institutions to limit entry to vaccinated people after Aug 1.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in Saudi Arabia has increased ahead of the deadline, with about 350,000 doses being administered per day, with a total vaccination rate of about 78 doses per 100 people in the Kingdom.
As a result, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development instructed all institutions in the Kingdom to require proof of immunity against COVID-19 from employees and workers, as approved by the Ministry of Health on the Tawakkalna mobile app.
The gradual plan to deal with unvaccinated employees begins with directing them to work remotely, according to the work need. In case remote work is not beneficial for the institution by Aug. 9, the employee will be granted leave deducted from their official leave balance.

HIGHLIGHT

The gradual plan to deal with unvaccinated employees begins with directing them to work remotely, according to the work need. In case remote work is not beneficial for the institution by Aug. 9, the employee will be granted leave deducted from their official leave balance.

As for the public sector, employees will consume their eligible leave days according to their legally approved conditions and requirements. However, if those requirements are not met or the employee has exhausted their leave balance, then absence days must be deducted from the balance of regular leaves or will be considered as an unpaid excused absence.
In the private and nonprofit sectors, employers will allow unvaccinated employees to go on official leave that will be calculated from their annual leave.
In case the annual leave balance is exhausted, employees will be granted unpaid leave, and their work contract will be considered suspended during the period once it exceeds 20 days, unless the two parties agree otherwise.
In case of disagreement with a worker, the employer shall deal with the consequences according to the procedures approved by law. The employee must be informed about decisions issued in this regard.
However, the ministry said that the new regulations do not apply to people who are excluded from taking the vaccine according to the Tawakkalna app.