Saudi Civil Defense deploys 17,000 officers, 3,000 vehicles for Hajj

The General Directorate of Civil Defense started its preparations for this year’s Hajj season by executing its annual general emergency plan. (SPA)
Updated 28 July 2019

Saudi Civil Defense deploys 17,000 officers, 3,000 vehicles for Hajj

  • Civil Defense efforts will focus on preventive measures, including raising awareness, ensuring the availability of security measures in all locations

MAKKAH: The General Directorate of Civil Defense started its preparations for this year’s Hajj season by executing its annual general emergency plan, which includes mobilizing more than 17,000 officers and more than 3,000 vehicles to deal with public safety challenges.

The general directorate aims to preserve the safety of pilgrims and visitors of the Two Holy Mosques under the direct supervision of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Saud bin Naif, interior minister and head of the Supreme Hajj Committee; Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, governor of Makkah and chairman of the Central Hajj Committee; and Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Madinah and chairman of the region’s Hajj committee.

Lt. Gen. Sulaiman Al-Amro, general director of Civil Defense, thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support and procurement of all means aimed at guaranteeing that pilgrims can perform their Hajj rituals with ease.

Al-Amro added that Civil Defense efforts will focus on preventive measures, including raising awareness, ensuring the availability of security measures in all locations, and stressing the importance of safety principles and avoiding all dangers.

He said the plan includes joint training with concerned parties, and the distribution of Civil Defense services in order to quickly respond to emergency situations. 

Makkah municipality also recruited over 23,000 workers to implement its plan for this year’s Hajj season. They will be on hand 24 hours a day, divided into several shifts and focusing on crowded areas. 

Last year more than 1.75 million pilgrims from outside the Kingdom performed Hajj, according to figures from the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.


Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 5 min 34 sec ago

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.