‘Watan 89’: Saudi security forces’ explosive display of firepower

1 / 4
Explosions rock a building as part of a mock anti-terrorism assault by Saudi special forces during the Watan 89 joint training exercise in Al-Ahsa on April 15, 2019. (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)
2 / 4
Saudi security forces arrest a "terrorist" during the Watan 89 joint training exercise in Al-Ahsa on April 15, 2019. (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)
3 / 4
Saudi officials watch as security forces demonstrate their anti-terrorism and anti-crime skills during the Watan 89 joint training exercise in Al-Ahsa on April 15, 2019. (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)
4 / 4
Saudi officials watch as security forces demonstrate their anti-terrorism and anti-crime skills during the Watan 89 joint training exercise in Al-Ahsa on April 15, 2019. (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)
Updated 17 April 2019

‘Watan 89’: Saudi security forces’ explosive display of firepower

  • The exercise in the eastern region followed similar training along the Kingdom’s northern borders and around Madinah.
  • Crack teams took part in car chases, hand-to-hand combat and vehicle assault demonstration

AL-AHSA: Saudi Arabia’s elite security forces put on an explosive display of firepower during an adrenaline-charged show of military might.

Interior Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif watched the no-holds-barred closing ceremony of the third joint training exercise for Watan 89, a special forces team composed of 13 different sectors from the Ministry of Interior and the Presidency of State Security.

Crack teams took part in car chases, hand-to-hand combat and vehicle assault demonstrations, and used helicopters and explosives to show the Kingdom’s level of readiness for dealing with any serious internal security threats.




Crack teams from 13 special forces units of the Saudi Ministry of Interior and the Presidency of State Security in formation at the start of the Watan 89 joint training exercise in Al-Ahsa on April 15, 2019. (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)

On arrival at the exercise Prince Abdul Aziz received Eastern Province Deputy Gov. Prince Ahmad bin Fahd bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Assistant Minister of Interior for Operations Affairs Lt. Gen. Saeed bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, who supervised the joint tactical exercise, and Maj. Gen. Muzli Hamed bin Al-Tuwairqi, in-charge of installations security forces.

Speaking at the ceremony, Al-Qahtani said the Saudi Ministry of Interior gave its full backing to Watan 89 and the development of training in order to “maintain security and protect the capabilities and assets of the homeland.”

He added: “Members of the internal security forces participated in this exercise for several weeks at this site, which was full of operational training in terms of command and control, as well as field tactical training by land, sea and air.”

The exercises in the eastern region followed similar training along the Kingdom’s northern borders and around Madinah.

Al-Qahtani thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for the defense sector.




Heliborne troops participate in the anti-terrorism operation demonstration in al-Ahsa on April 15, 2019. (AAN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)

 

 


Saudi airports welcome back passengers after two-month hiatus

Updated 14 min 30 sec ago

Saudi airports welcome back passengers after two-month hiatus

  • Social distancing and face masks required in aircraft
  • Two local flights to be added daily to restore capacity 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is welcoming the return of aircraft and passengers amid strict precautionary measures to counter the spread of coronavirus.
The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) on Sunday opened 11 of the Kingdom’s 28 airports in a step toward restoring normality to everyday activities.
All flights and means of travel between Saudi cities ground to a halt on March 21.
“The progressive and gradual reopening aims at controlling the crowd inside airports because we want to achieve the highest health efficiency,” GACA spokesman Ibrahim bin Abdullah Alrwosa told Arab News.
He said that two local flights would be added daily until all routes returned to their normal capacity, during which time GACA would increase the capacity of aircrafts as decided by relevant committees. 
GACA has issued a travel guide for passengers, detailing what steps have been taken by authorities to ensure public health and safety and what obligations are on passengers. 
A decision about the return of international flights was up to authorities, he said. 


“I call on all travelers, both Saudis and residents, to read this guide and to look at the information and details in it because the travel decision depends on it,” the spokesman added.
Passengers found to violate any of the terms and conditions will not be allowed to complete the check-in process as per the new travel procedures.
The new terms include the use of e-tickets and passengers will not be allowed to enter airport premises without one. Purchasing tickets inside airport grounds is currently not an option because booking services for airline sales are currently closed.
Wearing a face mask is a prerequisite for airport access and any individual who fails to wear a face mask will be denied entry to the airport.
Passengers under the age of 15 will not be allowed to travel unaccompanied.
The Ministry of Health has set up temperature checkpoints inside the airport and passengers recording a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher will be denied entry in order to ensure their safety and the safety of other passengers.
Social distancing inside the airport has been adopted at entrances, exits, at seating areas and bridges leading to airplanes.
There will be social distancing on the aircraft, with an empty seat between each passenger, according to recommendations from the Ministry of Health, which stipulated that there must be social distancing.
“We want to make airports a safe environment to achieve a safe flight. There is another important issue, which is a well-known social tradition. There are many people at the airport who come to say goodbye to their loved ones or receive them. We will not allow the presence of people who do not have tickets in the airports, in order to ensure the safety of passengers,” said the GACA spokesman.
He said that passenger cooperation and compliance played a key role in the successful restart of flights.
“We rely on citizens and passengers, locals and residents alike, to help us implement preventive measures and to comply with the health rules recommended by the Ministry of Health.”