US condemns air attack on Riyadh, vows to protect stability of Kingdom

The United Stated condemned a recent attempt to attack the Saudi capital Riyadh. The Arab coalition said it had intercepted and destroyed a hostile air target going toward the capital. (File/AFP)
The United Stated condemned a recent attempt to attack the Saudi capital Riyadh. The Arab coalition said it had intercepted and destroyed a hostile air target going toward the capital. (File/AFP)
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Updated 25 January 2021

US condemns air attack on Riyadh, vows to protect stability of Kingdom

US condemns air attack on Riyadh, vows to protect stability of Kingdom
  • US says ‘will help our partner Saudi Arabia defend against attacks on its territory’
  • Arab coalition thwarted an attack on Riyadh on Saturday by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen

CHICAGO: The US on Sunday condemned an attempted air attack on Riyadh at the weekend and said anyone who tried to undermine the Kingdom’s stability would be held to account.

The strike on the Saudi capital on Saturday, which was thwarted by air defenses, “appears to have been an attempt to target civilians,” the State Department said.

“Such attacks contravene international law and undermine all efforts to promote peace and stability,” it said. “As we work to de-escalate tensions in the region through principled diplomacy, including by bringing an end to the war in Yemen, we will also help our partner Saudi Arabia defend against attacks on its territory and hold those who attempt to undermine stability to account.”

Britain also condemned the attack, which "undermined regional peace."

"We strongly condemn these attacks, and we stand by our Saudi partners," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. 

The attack came days after the US designated Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen as a foreign terrorist organization. Yemenis on Sunday launched a social media campaign to highlight Houthi crimes and to convince other countries to follow the US.

The organizers said they wanted to “inform the world about the terrorism acts by the Houthi militia against Yemenis and to call all free countries to designate them as a terrorist organization.”

Dozens of Yemeni journalists, human right activists, intellectuals and officials have condemned the group’s human right abuses, using the hashtag #HouthiTerrorismInYemen, and shared images and videos that show Houthis blowing up the houses of their opponents.

“The Houthis waged numerous wars against civilians,” activist Mohammed Abdullah Qassem said. “Even now, they are still attacking Taiz, Mareb, Al-Bayda, etc. They insist on ruling Yemenis by force, based on the theory of the divine right to rule, the ideology that the West overthrew centuries ago.”

Meanwhile, Yemen government officials and the Houthis militias began talks on Sunday to secure a second historic agreement on an exchange of prisoners.

The meeting in Amman, Jordan, aims to free about 300 detainees, including high-ranking officials such as former Defense Minister Mahmoud Al-Subaihi and the Yemen president’s brother Nasser Mansour Hadi.

Previous talks led to the release of 1,065 inmates in October and rekindled hopes of striking a deal to end the war.

*Saeed Al-Batati reported from Al-Mukalla

 


WATCH: Saudi Crown Prince attends Formula E Diriyah E-Prix second race

 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (Screenshot)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (Screenshot)
Updated 54 min 55 sec ago

WATCH: Saudi Crown Prince attends Formula E Diriyah E-Prix second race

 Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday. (Screenshot)
  • Crown prince received good wishes as he arrived following successful operation

LONDON: Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was in attendance for the second race of the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix weekend in Riyadh on Saturday.

The crown prince received good wishes from those in attendance as he arrived, following his successful operation earlier this week.

UNESCO World Heritage site Diriyah is host of the opening round of the FIA Formula E world championship this weekend.

In an electric opening race on Friday night, Mercedes-EQ driver Nyck de Vries claimed a maiden Formula E victory.

Dutch driver Robin Frijns, in the Envision Virgin Racing car, started on pole for the second race.


Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report

Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report
Updated 20 min 31 sec ago

Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report

Arab region voices support for Saudi Arabia over US Khashoggi report
  • The Secretary-General of the OIC said it rejects “the incorrect conclusions contained” in the US report
  • Arab Parliament stresses pivotal role that the Kingdom plays in consolidating security in the Arab region

LONDON: Arab countries and organizations expressed their support on Saturday for a statement released by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry. The statement concerned the report provided to the US Congress on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a statement, Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry rejected anything that affects the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.
Bahrain’s Shoura Council affirmed “the prominent and pivotal role played by Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to lay down the foundations of regional and global security and peace.”
The council also praised diplomatic efforts exerted by Saudi Arabia through its foreign diplomacy in the region and the world, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed its confidence in and support for the Saudi judiciary, as well as the Kingdom’s commitment to enforcing the law with transparency and integrity and to holding those responsible for the murder to account.

The Ministry affirmed the UAE’s solidarity with Saudi Arabia in its efforts to maintain stability and security in the region and the key role it plays in maintaining moderation in the Arab world.

The UAE rejects any attempts to exploit the Jamal Khashoggi case or interfere in Saudi internal affairs, the ministry said.

Kuwait’s foreign ministry expressed its support for Saudi Arabia’s statement and stressed the important role played by the Kingdom in supporting moderation regionally and internationally and in denouncing extremism.

The ministry said that it categorically rejects any attempts to affect the Kingdom’s sovereignty.

 

Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed the Sultanate's solidarity with the Kingdom, saying it appreciated the efforts and actions of the competent judicial authorities in the Kingdom regarding the case and its outcome.

The Muslim World League (MWL) also affirmed its full support for Saudi Arabia’s statement.

MWL secretary-general Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa said the league rejects the conclusions of the report and affirmed the confidence of the Muslim world, led by Saudi Arabia, in all measures taken by the Kingdom.

Al-Issa added that the league rejects any interference that affects the Kingdom’s sovereignty. 

The Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said it categorically rejects “the incorrect conclusions contained” in the US report which is “devoid of any conclusive evidence.”

The organization rejected attempts to infringe the Kingdom’s sovereignty, insult its leadership and compromise the independence of its judiciary.

It expressed support for all judicial measures that were taken against the perpetrators of the murder who were brought to justice, and the sentences that were issued.

The Arab Parliament affirmed its support for the Saudi statement and expressed its categorical rejection of any infringement of the sovereignty of the Kingdom and the independence of its judiciary.

The parliament stressed the pivotal role that the Kingdom plays in consolidating security and stability in the Arab region and the Middle East and its policy of supporting international peace.

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajjraf, affirmed his appreciation for the pivotal role the Kingdom plays in enhancing regional and international security and peace, and its great role in combating terrorism and supporting the efforts of the international community in this regard.

Al-Hajjraf said the report is nothing more than an opinion that is devoid of any conclusive evidence. He expressed his support for any measures that the Kingdom takes in order to preserve its rights and support its role in promoting a culture of moderation.

Yemen also rejected everything that might affect the sovereignty of the Kingdom and the independence of its judiciary.

 


Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 27 February 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 368,011
  • A total of 6,488 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

LONDON: Saudi Arabia announced five deaths from COVID-19 and 338 new infections on Saturday.
Of the new cases, 179 were recorded in Riyadh, 70 in the Eastern Province, 42 in Makkah, 10 in Asir, seven in Madinah, three in Hail, three in Jazan and two in Najran.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 368,011 after 320 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 6,488 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.


Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia
Updated 27 February 2021

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: The Saudi-led Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed a Houthi drone targeting civilian areas in Khamis Mushait city, southwest of Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
The spokesman of the Saudi-led Arab coalition, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, said that the Houthi militia’s attempts to attack civilians and civilian areas constituted as a war crime.
He stressing that the coalition took necessary operational measures to protect civilians in accordance with international humanitarian law.

The attempted drone attack came a day after the Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed two Houthi drones targeting Saudi Arabia’s southern region on Friday and a ballistic missile fired by the militia toward the Kingdom later on in the day.


Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia

Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia
Updated 27 February 2021

Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia

Blinken stresses US will continue to defend, do business with Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said Washington’s relationship with Saudi Arabia was important and that the relationship reflected shared interests and values between the two countries.
“The relationship with Saudi Arabia is an important one. We have significant ongoing interests. We remain committed to the defense of the Kingdom,” Blinken said during a press conference at the US State Department, as reported by CNN on Saturday.
The secretary of state also reiterated the United States’ interests to continue doing business with the Kingdom, stating that the relationship was “bigger than any one individual.”
Blinken also affirmed that US officials, including himself and President Joe Biden, had spoken with their Saudi counterparts.
Meanwhile, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Friday that Saudi Arabia remained “a strategic partner in the region.”
“From a military perspective, as I've said many times, we take seriously our security commitments to Saudi Arabia with respect to their ability to defend themselves, and they do need to defend themselves, particularly along that southern border.”