UN ‘must condemn’ Houthis over Najran missile attack

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A total of 19 cars and 15 houses in the area were damaged. The debris left a crater on the road. (AN photo)
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A total of 19 cars and 15 houses in the area were damaged. The debris left a crater on the road. (AN photo)
Updated 06 September 2018

UN ‘must condemn’ Houthis over Najran missile attack

  • Anger intensifies after 32 people were injured by falling missile debris.
  • A total of 19 cars and 15 houses in Najran were damaged.

JEDDAH: A missile attack on Najran by the Iran-backed Houthis on Wednesday has caused outrage in Saudi Arabia.
Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Arab coalition fighting to restore the legitimate government to power in Yemen, and the Saudi Civil Defense, said 32 people, including children, were injured by “falling scattered fragments” after Saudi defenses shot down the missiles before they could reach their target.
A total of 19 cars and 15 houses in the area were damaged. The debris left a crater on the road. Members of four families, whose houses were damaged, were relocated.

Saudi Arabia’s defence forces also intercepted a missile fired by the Houthis towards Jazan on Thursday.
Experts have urged the UN to step in and condemn the Houthi aggression.
“The Houthis have fired no fewer than 190 missiles toward Saudi Arabia. Where is the UN?” asked Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Riyadh-based Saudi political analyst and international-relations scholar.
“Where is the international community? Where is their condemnation? Thankfully, most of the missiles have been intercepted by the Saudi anti-missile batteries, but God forbid if one slips through, one can imagine the disaster that would ensue.”
Al-Shehri said there is a discrepancy between the international community’s reaction to incidents when Yemeni civilians have been mistakenly targeted by the Arab coalition and its reaction to Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia.
“When Saudi civilians and densely populated Saudi cities are under attack, there is no word from the UN, human rights organizations or the global community,” he said. “This clearly indicates their bias toward Iran and the Houthis.”
Al-Shehri said the UN must immediately condemn Houthi attacks and take the lead in implementing its own resolution on Yemen.
Passed by the Security Council in April 2015, Resolution 2216 “demanded that all parties in the embattled country, in particular the Houthis, immediately and unconditionally cease all violence and refrain from further unilateral actions that threatened the political transition.”
Al-Shehri said Saudi Arabia and its allies are carrying out the mandate of the UN. “It is the job of UN to restore the rightful government (of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi) in Yemen and to disarm the Houthis. This tiny minority — which is armed to the teeth by Iran — has held Yemenis hostage. It has plundered the country. Restoring order in Yemen is the job of the whole international community, not just the Saudi-led Arab coalition.”
Coalition spokesman Al-Maliki claimed the Houthis’ missile attacks prove the Iranian regime’s continued involvement in supporting the terrorist group in explicit defiance of UN Resolutions 2216 and 2231.
Fahad Nazer, international fellow at the Washington-based National Council on US-Arab Relations, said the attack should be unequivocally condemned by the international community, and specifically the UN.
“The almost daily targeting of civilian centers in Saudi Arabia by the Houthi militia demonstrates beyond doubt that they are not serious about ending the conflict in Yemen,” he told Arab News. In fact, the Houthis seem intent on prolonging and expanding the conflict, he said.
“They have fired thousands of mortars and 190 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the conflict, leading to many civilian casualties.
“This latest missile attack toward Najran, which injured 32 people, including children, should be condemned by the international community and the UN Security Council and is yet another reminder that the Houthis and their Iranian patrons remain the main obstacle standing in the way of ending the conflict,” Nazer concluded.


Djibouti president to give keynote address at virtual launch of Arab News en Français

Updated 14 July 2020

Djibouti president to give keynote address at virtual launch of Arab News en Français

  • French ambassador to Saudi Arabia to inaugurate new digital news site

RIYADH: In an online ceremony linking Riyadh and Paris on France’s National Day, the Middle East’s leading English-language newspaper tonight launches Arab News en Français, its third overseas edition.
The virtual launch of the Arab News en Français website on Bastille Day will take place at 6 p.m. Paris time in the presence of distinguished guests, including guest of honor Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of the French-speaking Republic of Djibouti, who will be delivering a keynote speech.
The newest edition of Arab News will be formally launched in Riyadh by François Gouyette, the French ambassador to Saudi Arabia, who is also attending the virtual event.

Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of commerce and investment and acting minister of media, will also give a speech at the ceremony.
Other guests at the launch — which will take place via an exclusive invitation-only Zoom video conference at 7 p.m. Riyadh time, and will be later carried on YouTube and other Arab News social media platforms — will include a large number of Saudi, Arab and French officials, diplomats and journalists.
The launch will also feature a special performance by Sawsan Al-Bahiti, Saudi Arabia’s first professional opera singer, who will sing “La Vie En Rose,” the song popularized by legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf.
Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s first English-language newspaper, was founded in 1975 and this year is celebrating its 45th anniversary.

Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi and François Gouyette.

The launch of Arab News en Français recognizes the growing importance of creating bridges of communication between the Arab world and French-speaking countries.
The new online edition joins two other international digital editions of Arab News, which launched a Pakistan edition in February 2018 and a Japanese one in October 2019.
Tonight’s launch ceremony will introduce Randa Takieddine, the chief Paris correspondent of Arab News en Française, who will take part in the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Arab News and Experience AlUla.
In collaboration with the Paris-based French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula), the Royal Commission for AlUla is developing the ancient Unesco World Heritage Site of Hegra and its surroundings in the dramatic landscape of western Saudi Arabia as a major international cultural destination.

The first product of the cooperation with Experience AlUla is an Arab News Deep Dive presentation, “The Rebirth of AlUla”, which is available in French
In collaboration with the Paris-based French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula), the RCU is developing the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra and its surroundings in the dramatic landscape of western Saudi Arabia as a major international cultural destination.
The first product of the cooperation with the RCU is an Arab News Deep Dive presentation, “The Rebirth of AlUla,” which is available in French (http://www.arabnews.fr/Alula/).
Paris was given a glimpse of the treasures of Hegra at the exhibition “AlUla: Wonder of Arabia,” which opened at the Institut du Monde Arabe in the French capital in October 2019.
The launch of the exhibition was attended by Prince Badr, Saudi Arabia’s minister of culture and governor of the RCU, and Franck Riester, the French minister of culture.
Other guests included prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, who is designing a luxury tourism resort for AlUla as part of a series of developments planned for the region.