Saudi plans for Hajj security, traffic unveiled

The Saudi government has made great efforts to ensure security at Hajj. (SPA)
Updated 25 August 2017

Saudi plans for Hajj security, traffic unveiled

JEDDAH: The government has made great efforts to ensure security and safety for pilgrims coming from all over the globe this Hajj season, said Maj. Gen. Munir Al-Jibril, assistant commander of Hajj forces for security affairs.
He added that security forces have two main tasks: Preventing and confronting crime, and holding perpetrators accountable and assisting in investigations.
The security plan implemented this year will include forces from several departments, each with specific tasks, he said, adding that they will operate according to a clear mechanism that establishes cooperation. Female troops will also operate at the holy sites after undergoing training, he said.
A wide range of new security tools and techniques will be implemented, such as random fingerprint checks on pilgrims who do not have official Hajj permits, as well as chasing and arresting street vendors, Al-Jibril added.
He warned pilgrims against carrying valuables at the holy sites, and urged them to cooperate with security forces and report any suspicious activity by calling 911 immediately.
The assistant commander of Hajj forces for traffic affairs, Maj. Gen. Khaled Al-Dhabiab, said buses have been provided with GPS systems to limit random and unorganized trips.
The commander of security patrols in Makkah, Col. Mohammed Al-Suheimi, said 406 patrols are working around the clock.
Lt. Gen. Bassem bin Amin Al-Badri, director of Makkah traffic, said all measures are being taken to prevent the entry of unauthorized vehicles. So far, 3,040 have been seized in the city, he added.
Civil defense to conduct drills in Makkah, holy sites
The Civil Defense will conduct emergency drills in Makkah and the holy sites as part of a general emergency plan for this Hajj season.
The drills will include simulating a building collapse in central Makkah, a stampede at the end of Sudqi Street near Al-Jamarat Bridge, and a huge fire at Arafat near the train station.
The Civil Defense said the drills are aimed at testing the readiness of staff, vehicles and equipment. There are also daily on-the-job training courses.

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

Updated 21 November 2019

King Salman urges Iran to junk its expansionist ideology

  • Saudi Arabia has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies, king says
  • Kingdom also welcomed US decision to return Iran's Fordow nuclear facility to its sanctions list

RIYADH: Iran should abandon its expansionist ideology that has only “harmed” its own people, Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday, following violent street protests in the Islamic republic.

A wave of demonstrations erupted in the sanctions-hit country on Friday after an announcement that petrol prices would be raised by as much as 200 percent with immediate effect.

“We hope the Iranian regime chooses the side of wisdom and realizes there is no way to overcome the international position that rejects its practices, without abandoning its expansionist and destructive thinking that has harmed its own people,” the king told the consultative Shoura Council.

“The kingdom has suffered from the policies and practices of the Iranian regime and its proxies,” King Salman said, quoted by the foreign ministry, reiterating that Riyadh does not seek war but is “ready to defend its people.”

A satellite image from Sept. 15, 2017, of the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran. (Google Earth)

Saudi Arabia has welcomed Washington's decision to return the Fordow nuclear facility in Iran to the sanctions list. 

Washington said on Monday that it will no longer waive sanctions related to Iran’s Fordow nuclear plant after Tehran resumed uranium enrichment at the underground site. 

“The right amount of uranium enrichment for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror is zero ... There is no legitimate reason for Iran to resume enrichment at this previously clandestine site,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters earlier this week.