LONDON: France said it strongly condemned the Houthi drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, particularly targeting the southern city of Khamis Mushait, and called on the militia to immediately stop their destabilizing attacks in the region.
Saudi Arabia’s air defenses destroyed 17 drones launched toward the Kingdom’s southern region on Saturday, the Arab coalition said.
A booby-trapped drone targeted Khamis Mushait early in the morning before seven more targeting the southern region were intercepted in Yemeni airspace during the afternoon.
Khamis Mushait was again targeted by two drones in the evening and another drone targeted Najran late Saturday before six more were shot down near midnight.
“These numerous air attacks threaten the security of Saudi territory and the stability of the region. They illustrate the seriousness of the threat posed by the proliferation of drones and missiles throughout the region and the need to respond to it with a diplomatic and regional approach,” France’s foreign ministry said.
The Arab coalition said the Houthi’s deliberate and systematic escalation against Yemen constituted a war crime, as the Iran-backed Houthis have been attacking the Kingdom with explosive-laden drones on an almost daily basis in recent weeks despite calls from the international community for a cease-fire in Yemen.
“France calls on the Houthis to immediately end their destabilizing actions in the region and in Yemen and to engage constructively in a political process to end the crisis in Yemen,” and also called for a cessation of hostilities in the country and the relaunch of discussions to reach a comprehensive and inclusive political agreement, under the auspices of the UN, the ministry added.
France said it was also concerned about human rights in Iran after Ebrahim Raisi has been elected as president.
President-elect Raisi, 60, won Friday’s election in which more than half the voters stayed away after many political heavyweights had been barred from running and as an economic crisis driven by US sanctions has battered the country.
Raisi, an ultraconservative cleric who heads Iran’s judiciary, will replace former President Hassan Rouhani.
“We recall the concerns we have regularly expressed regarding the human rights situation in Iran and our nationals imprisoned there, which we will continue to follow closely,” France said, adding: “We reaffirm our desire for a return to full implementation of the Vienna nuclear agreement, for which French diplomacy is fully mobilized. We will also continue our efforts for the security and stability of the Middle East.”
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch on Saturday said Raisi’s election as Iran’s new president was a blow for human rights and called for him to be investigated over his role in what Washington and rights groups have called the extrajudicial executions of thousands of political prisoners in 1988.
(With AFP and Reuters)
batteforthenile.txt Displaying batteforthenile.txt.