Coalition air defenses intercept Houthi drone aimed at KSA’s Asir region

In this Dec. 14, 2017 file photo, a kamikaze drone fired by Houthi militants toward Saudi Arabia is shown as an exhibit at the United Nations. The Iran-backed Houthis have continued to fired missiles and armed drones toward Saudi Arabia, the latest of which was on April 7, 2019. (AFP file photo)
Updated 08 April 2019

Coalition air defenses intercept Houthi drone aimed at KSA’s Asir region

JEDDAH: Saudi-led Coalition air defense forces intercepted a Houthi drone aimed toward Saudi Arabia's southern region of Asir, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Monday.

Colonel Turki al-Maliki, Arab Coalition spokesman, said that at 10:50 p.m. local time on Sunday, the Saudi Royal Air Defense System spotted the drone moving in the direction of a populated area in the Asir region. 

The drone was shot down before reaching its target and so far nobody had been reported injured by falling debris from the unmanned aerial vehicle, he said.

Al-Maliki lamented that the Iran-backed terrorist militia has continued to target civilians with drone attacks as well as booby-trapped boats in violation of the Stockholm Agreement signed by the militia and the Yemeni government and its Coalition backers.

He said that "these acts of terrorism" were clearly meant to provoke the coalition forces into carrying out military action in the province of Hodeidah.

He stressed that the Coalition was all for the efforts of the UN special envoy in Yemen, but it won't allow the Houthis' targeting of civilian targets and its use of terrorist methods to go unpunished.

"The Joint Forces Command would take all deterrent measures in accordance with international humanitarian law and its customary rules," he said.

Sunday's drone attack was the second for this month. On the night of April 2, two Houthi drones targeting civilian areas in Khamis Mushayt, a mountain city in Asir, were intercepted and destroyed. Five people were reported injured by falling debris. Four vehicles and a number of houses were damaged.


Asian religious leaders map agenda for G20 interfaith meeting in Riyadh

Updated 58 min 5 sec ago

Asian religious leaders map agenda for G20 interfaith meeting in Riyadh

  • Delegates discussed ways to address a number of priority issues in the region

RIYADH: Asian religious leaders, policymakers, and experts on Wednesday met to map out key regional issues for discussion at the G20 Interfaith Forum due to take place in Riyadh in October.

The virtual regional consultative session, run from Vienna, was organized by the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), the G20 Interfaith Forum Association and Saudi Arabia’s National Committee for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue.

Delegates discussed ways to address a number of priority issues in the region including how leaderships and religious institutions could support policymakers in strengthening the regional response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and contribute to developing policy recommendations to back religious and humanitarian organizations in Asia.

Participants reviewed a list of topics surrounding religious values for this year’s G20 — in accordance with the priorities of host country Saudi Arabia — which included matters relating to women and youth, climate change and preservation of the planet’s natural resources, and the adoption of long-term strategies to share the benefits of innovation and technological progress.

Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muaammar, KAICIID secretary-general, said that Asian countries had always been the center’s focus of attention, most notably Myanmar, and that it was gradually expanding its activities to include other countries in the region.

“Since 2016, the center has supported the efforts of leaderships and religious organizations in consolidating coexistence and peace,” he added.

He noted KAICIID’s support for the Peaceful Myanmar Initiative (PMI), a network of diverse religious groups and policymakers.

Muaammar said the center aimed to expand its work in Asia and regionalize its activities while building partnerships with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and other international development bodies that contributed to enhancing sustainable peaceful coexistence in the region.

KAICIID had enhanced its presence among youth in Asia through cooperation initiatives and support for a dialogue program for peace it had established in partnership with the World Organization of the Scout Movement, added Muammar.

In relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, he noted that the center sought to support local organizations through various projects including one which involved the transformation of a training center for interreligious dialogue into a quarantine facility.