WHO commends Saudi Arabia’s health care efforts during Hajj

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A Saudi Red Crescent Authority medical team attends to a pilgrim who had fallen ill while performing Hajj. (SPA)
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Saudi scouts assist infirm pilgrims in getting medical assistance at a hospital in Mina during Hajj. (SPA)
Updated 14 August 2019

WHO commends Saudi Arabia’s health care efforts during Hajj

  • A team from the WHO visited health centers and hospitals in Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat, and learned about the work done on the ground by the ministry

GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) has commended the successful efforts of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health during the Hajj season.
The organization expressed its sincere thanks and deep appreciation to all health care volunteers for their dedication to providing health services to more than 2.5 million pilgrims.
A team from the WHO visited health centers and hospitals in Mina, Muzdalifah and Arafat, and learned about the work done on the ground by the ministry in detection and prevention measures of health emergencies, noting that the field visit proved that the early warning systems in place were functioning well.
The statement explained that the Kingdom was well prepared to prevent and respond to the risks associated with rapidly expanding human populations, such as heat-related disorders and food poisoning.
Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah expressed his pride at the efforts being exerted by the personnel of the Ministry of Health in serving pilgrims in this year’s Hajj season.
WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted: “WHO praises the Ministry of Health for its extensive role in addressing health challenges during the major event.” 


Arab coalition: Iran provided weapons used to attack Saudi Aramco sites

Updated 10 min 27 sec ago

Arab coalition: Iran provided weapons used to attack Saudi Aramco sites

  • US official says all options, including a military response, are on the table
  • Washington blames Iran for the attack on an oil processing plant and an oil field

RIYADH: Iran provided the weapons used to strike two Saudi Aramco facilities in the Kingdom, the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen said Tuesday.

“The investigation is continuing and all indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran,” coalition spokesman Turki Al-Maliki told reporters in Riyadh, adding they were now probing “from where they were fired.”

The coalition supports the Yemen government in the war against the Iran-backed Houthi militants, which claimed they had carried out the attack on Saturday.

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US officials have said Iran was behind the attack on an oil processing plant and an oil field, and that the raid did not come from Yemen, but from the other direction.

“This strike didn't come from Yemen territory as the Houthi militia are pretending,” Maliki said, adding that an investigation was ongoing into the attacks and their origins.

The Houthis have carried out scores of attacks against Saudi Arabia using drones and ballistic missiles.

Al-Maliki labelled the Houthis “a tool in the hands of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and the terrorist regime of Iran.”

The attacks against Abqaiq, the world's largest oil processing facility, and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia knocked out nearly half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production.

Oil prices rocketed on Monday after the strikes.

Iran has denied involvement, something Trump questioned Sunday in a tweet saying “we'll see?”

A satellite image of Saudi Aramco infrastructure at Khurais. (US Government/DigitalGlobe/ via Reuters)

On Sunday, the US president raised the possibility of military retaliation after the strikes, saying Washington was “locked and loaded” to respond.

The US has offered a firm response in support of its ally, and is considering increasing its intelligence sharing with Saudi Arabia as a result of the attack, Reuters reported.

A US official told AP that all options, including a military response, were on the table, but added that no decisions had been made.

The US government late Monday produced satellite photos showing what officials said were at least 19 points of impact at the oil processing plant at Abqaiq and the Khurais oil field. Officials said the photos show impacts consistent with the attack coming from the direction of Iran or Iraq, rather than from Yemen to the south.

Iraq said the attacks were not launched from its territory and on Sunday Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had told him that Washington possesses information that backs up the Iraqi government’s denial.

Condemnation of the attacks continued from both within Saudi Arabia and from around the world.

Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council called Tuesday for concerted efforts to hold those behind the attacks accountable.

Meanwhile, the UN’s special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais had consequences well beyond the region and risked dragging Yemen into a “regional conflagration.”