Philippine troops join search for missing Saudi pilot and his teacher

Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif went missing along with this teacher.
Updated 18 June 2019
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Philippine troops join search for missing Saudi pilot and his teacher

  • The island is located northeast of San Jose Airport

MANILA: Philippine troops will comb a rugged offshore island in the search for a missing Saudi student pilot and his teacher whose aircraft vanished a month ago shortly after taking off from San Jose Airport in Occidental Mindoro.

The disappearance of the Beechcraft Baron 55 aircraft carrying Abdullah Khalid Al-Sharif, a student at the Orient Flying School, and his teacher, Capt. Jose Nelson Yapparcon, remains a mystery, officials told Arab News on Monday.

The decision to shift the search to the island of Ambulong was taken at a meeting between the Philippines Civil Aviation Authority and other agencies last week, according to Chris Enriquez, officer-in-charge of the authority in San Jose.  

The island is located northeast of San Jose Airport. Enriquez said that searchers believe the aircraft’s pilot may have glided the aircraft toward Ambulong.

“Maybe the aircraft did not explode. No explosion was heard and there was no smoke, so perhaps the pilot was able to glide the plane toward the island,” he said. 

The Philippines Air Force will also assist in the continuing search.

Another official, who asked not to be identified, said the search is considering other angles aside from the “crash,” but stressed that for now, the focus is on the search-and-rescue operation. Asked whether the missing pilots may still be alive, officials said they “are still hoping for the best.”


France: ‘not very credible’ that Houthis attacked Saudi oil plants

Updated 19 September 2019

France: ‘not very credible’ that Houthis attacked Saudi oil plants

  • The Frrench foreign minister said to wait for the results of the investigation
  • Iran, which supports the Houthi group, has denied any involvement in the attacks

PARIS: A claim from Yemen’s Houthis they were responsible for the attack on Saudi oil facilities is “not very credible,” France’s foreign minister said on Thursday.
“Yemen’s rebels have announced they have triggered this attack. That is not very credible, relatively speaking,” the minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, told C News television.
“There is an international investigation, let’s wait for its results. I don’t have a specific opinion before these results,” he said, adding the investigation into the Saudi oil attacks will be fast.
The Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have pointed the finger at Iran for the Sept. 14 raids, which hit the world’s biggest crude oil processing facility and initially knocked out half of Saudi output.
Iran, which supports the Houthi group, has denied any involvement in the attacks.