US leads global condemnation of Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

Slight damage to residential properties was caused after a Houthi ballistic missile targeting the Eastern Province was intercepted. (SPA)
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Slight damage to residential properties was caused after a Houthi ballistic missile targeting the Eastern Province was intercepted. (SPA)
Slight damage to residential properties was caused after a Houthi ballistic missile targeting the Eastern Province was intercepted. (SPA)
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Slight damage to residential properties was caused after a Houthi ballistic missile targeting the Eastern Province was intercepted. (SPA)
US leads global condemnation of Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia
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Slight damage to residential properties was caused after a Houthi ballistic missile targeting the Eastern Province was intercepted. (SPA)
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Updated 06 September 2021

US leads global condemnation of Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

US leads global condemnation of Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia
  • Egypt expressed its support for the measures taken by Saudi Arabia to preserve its security and stability
  • Kuwait called for “swift and firm actions from the international community to stop these threats”

RIYADH: The US led on Sunday the global condemnation of a recent escalation in Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia.
The Houthi militia launched three ballistic missiles toward the Kingdom on Saturday, two targeting the southwestern cities of Najran and Jazan. A third missile was launched at Dammam in the Eastern Province. All were intercepted.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the attack, calling it “completely unacceptable” and saying “these attacks threaten the lives of the Kingdom’s residents, including more than 70,000 US citizens.”

He again urged the Houthis to agree to a comprehensive cease-fire immediately and to stop these cross-border attacks and attacks inside of Yemen, particularly their offensive on Marib, which is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis and prolonging the conflict.  
“The Houthis must begin working toward a peaceful, diplomatic solution under UN auspices to end this conflict,” Blinken added.
The US embassy in Riyadh also said it “categorically condemns the recent Houthi missile attack on the Eastern region of the Kingdom,” and said “attacking civilians is illegal and totally unacceptable.”
“Such attacks do not serve any legitimate military objectives, but rather prolong the conflict in Yemen,” a statement said. 
The US urged the Houthis to “immediately stop these senseless attacks and start working toward a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the conflict.”
“The United States remains committed to its long-term strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia, as well as its commitment to helping the Kingdom defend its people and territory,” the statement added. 
Falling debris from the missile that was shot down in the Eastern Province injured a boy and a girl in Dammam.
There was also light damage to 14 residential properties, coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki said.
The militia also launched several booby-trapped drones toward the Kingdom on Friday and Saturday.
The UK condemned the Houthi attacks and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “This is reckless behavior by the Houthis, facilitated by Iran, which threatens innocent civilians and hinders efforts toward regional stability.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation also condemned the attacks and praised the Kingdom’s air defense forces for intercepting them.
The Muslim World League said the attacks were “a dangerous barbaric escalation that constitutes a war crime.”
The league expressed its support for measures taken by the Kingdom to protect its security and ensure the safety of civilians.
The Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO) said that the repeated attacks on civilian facilities in the Kingdom and endangering civilians is a matter of concern, and it includes persistence, perseverance and defiance of the international community, and a disregard for international laws and norms.
“What civilian facilities in the Kingdom are exposed to and the violations of the principles of international humanitarian law, is at the same time a threat to global security, especially since a number of these drones are directed to areas that supply the world with oil, which is the backbone of everyday life,” said ARCO Secretary-General Dr. Saleh bin Hamad Al-Tuwaijri.
He added that the international community must fully assume its responsibilities, and move from denouncing and condemning to taking strict practical measures to stop these attacks, especially since the United Nations, the Security Council and other intergovernmental institutions possess the deterrent tools for these successive violations of civil and economic facilities in the Kingdom.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) condemned the attacks targeting the Eastern Province, Jazan and Najran, calling them a “flagrant violation of international norms and laws.”
Secretary-General Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf reiterated the GCC states’ solidarity with Saudi Arabia against everything that targets its security, stability and territorial integrity, while also calling on the international community to take immediate and decisive measures.
”The UAE also strongly condemned the attacks and reiterated in a statement that “these systematic terror attacks by the Houthis reflect their blatant disregard for the international community and all international laws and norms.”
The country’s foreign ministry urged the international community to “take an immediate and decisive stance to stop these recurrent acts, which target critical infrastructure and threaten the security and stability of the Kingdom.”
It added that “the security of the UAE and that of Saudi Arabia are indivisible and any threat facing the Kingdom is considered a threat to the security and stability of the UAE.”
Kuwait also condemned the Houthi attacks in the “strongest terms” and said “the continuation and escalation of these hostile actions against the security of Saudi Arabia and regional stability are blatant violations of international law.”
The foreign ministry called for “swift and firm actions from the international community to stop these threats and hold perpetrators accountable.”
Qatar denounced the attacks and reiterated its firm position rejecting violence, criminal acts and acts of sabotage regardless of the motives.
Egypt strongly condemned the attacks and expressed “its support for the measures taken by Saudi Arabia to preserve its security, stability and territorial integrity in the face of these terrorist attacks, which represent a serious threat to security and stability in the region.”
Bahrain issued a similar statement and Jordan said “these terrorist acts and the targeting of innocent civilians, is contrary to all religious and humanitarian values, and aims to destabilize security and stability.”


Attempt to smuggle Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia thwarted

Attempt to smuggle Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia thwarted
Updated 22 October 2021

Attempt to smuggle Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia thwarted

Attempt to smuggle Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia thwarted
  • More than 5.2 million pills were found hidden in a consignment at Al-Haditha crossing on Friday
  • Port authorities said the pills were found “crushed” and hidden in a consignment of “carbonate powder” bags

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority has prevented an attempt to smuggle Captagon amphetamine pills.

More than 5.2 million pills were found hidden in a consignment at Al-Haditha crossing on Friday.

Port authorities said that after an inspection of a suspicious truck and its cargo, the pills were found “crushed” and hidden in a consignment of “carbonate powder” bags.

One person was arrested by the General Directorate of Narcotics Control. The Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority confirmed that it is continuing to tighten control over the Kingdom’s imports and combat smuggling attempts.


Saudi Arabia announces one more COVID-19 death in record low

Saudi Arabia announces one more COVID-19 death in record low
Updated 22 October 2021

Saudi Arabia announces one more COVID-19 death in record low

Saudi Arabia announces one more COVID-19 death in record low
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 537,208
  • A total of 8,774 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced one death from COVID-19 and 51 new infections on Friday.

Of the new cases, 13 were recorded in Riyadh, 11 in Jeddah, three in Makkah, two in Qatif, two in Dhahran, two in AlUla, and two in Hafar Al-Batin. Several other cities recorded one new case each.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 537,208 after 59 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,774 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Over 45 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Nimari, chief information security officer at KSA’s Rock Solid Group

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Nimari, chief information security officer at KSA’s Rock Solid Group
Updated 22 October 2021

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Nimari, chief information security officer at KSA’s Rock Solid Group

Who’s Who: Abdulrahman Al-Nimari, chief information security officer at KSA’s Rock Solid Group

Abdulrahman Al-Nimari has been the chief information security officer at Rock Solid Group since August.

A cybersecurity expert and regular conference speaker, he has more than 25 years of experience in the information technology and cybersecurity sectors.

At RSG, he is responsible for developing and implementing a strategic, long-term information security strategy and roadmap to ensure that data assets are adequately protected.

He has been an independent cybersecurity architect and consultant since 2019.

From September 2017 to June 2019, he was lead cybersecurity systems architect for ManTech International Corp. where he was in charge of developing security strategies and utilizing new technologies to enhance security capabilities and implement improvements.

Between March and August 2017, he held the position of chief enterprise security architect at Security Matterz.

Al-Nimari was technical manager and senior security consultant at Riyadh Business Machines from August 2013 to February 2017, and an IT manager at the Ministry of Education between January 2008 and July 2013.

During his time with the ministry, he also worked as cybersecurity team leader on a major education system project and was a network and system administrator and supervisor.

He gained a bachelor’s degree in English from Umm Al-Qura University.

Al-Nimari has headed numerous cybersecurity initiatives and projects for government and private-sector bodies.

He pointed out that all members of society had a duty to be aware about cybersecurity. “It is our role to participate in protecting the cyberspace of our beloved Saudi Arabia,” he said.


Saudi FM discusses Iran nuclear talks with EU envoy — statement

Saudi FM discusses Iran nuclear talks with EU envoy — statement
Updated 22 October 2021

Saudi FM discusses Iran nuclear talks with EU envoy — statement

Saudi FM discusses Iran nuclear talks with EU envoy — statement

CAIRO: Saudi foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud discussed the Iran nuclear talks with the European Union envoy coordinating talks on reviving the Iran nuclear deal, Enrique Mora, the Saudi Foreign ministry said on Thursday.
“They discussed developments regarding the Iranian nuclear program talks, and international efforts to ensure that Iran does not violate international agreements and treaties in this regard,” it added in a statement.


‘Open library’: Tourists in AlUla glimpse distant past in Ikmah’s ancient inscriptions

‘Open library’: Tourists in AlUla glimpse distant past in Ikmah’s ancient inscriptions
Updated 22 October 2021

‘Open library’: Tourists in AlUla glimpse distant past in Ikmah’s ancient inscriptions

‘Open library’: Tourists in AlUla glimpse distant past in Ikmah’s ancient inscriptions

ALULA: Imagine stepping back into a time before cell phones, emails, or even paper. During this era, documenting important moments was simplified to sketching on rocks.
This is Ikmah mountain, or the “open library” as it is referred to by AlUla’s locals. AlUla was a highlight on the trading route many took through the Arabian Peninsula. Travelers stopped at the mountain to document their stories or carve their names for those who came after them.
“We call Ikmah the ‘open library.’ If you want to know why it has this name, have a look around for a few seconds and you will see inscriptions all over the mountain,” Amal Aljahani, an expert Rawi storyteller, told Arab News.

Ikmah has over 500 inscriptions from the Dadan and Lihyan civilization. The earliest texts from the mountain have been studied and translated by historians and archeologists and have been dated back to the ninth and 10th century B.C. 
The languages in the mountain include Aramaic, Thamudic, Dadanitic, Minaen, Nabatean, Greek, Latin, and Arabic. An important area for historians, Arabic linguistics experts, and archaeologists, the mountain offers a look back into the pre-Arabic era.
Tourists from the Kingdom and international visitors gather for hours to sit in front of the high peaks and observe the delicate techniques of the ancient language that turned into the modern Arabic letters we know today.

Some inscriptions were written by the region’s professional scribes while others were merely sketches by travellers and locals passing by years ago.
Many of these messages differed in meaning, some surviving inscriptions are names written in the ancient Arabic text, but many involve tales of the ongoing events of the local community.
These inscriptions described the kings who ruled the land, the religious beliefs of the people, and sometimes notes for other visitors.
Ikmah held a high place in the hearts of the locals and travelers. It was a sacred ground for pagan worship and sacrifice along with documentation.  One of the inscriptions on the mountains was written by a woman named “Mirwa,” who carved her name into the rocks and detailed an offering she made to her deity.

“The woman used to come here and give her deity offerings to bless her and her children. The inscription says the deity blessed her and her children. Those are the kinds of things the people wrote here on this beautiful mountain,” Aljahani said.
Mirwa returned to add another inscription that her prayers were answered and her sons were blessed.
Some of these inscriptions are personal, while others are names or drawings of animals and musical instruments.
The oldest inscription in the Islamic era — known as the Naqsh Zuhayr — and the earliest glimpses into the Arabic language are documented on the east side. The inscriptions date back to 644 A.D.
The mountain hosts different inscription methods, Aljahani said, such as “carving inside the alphabet to be clearer.”
He added: “The second way is what we call the 3D way. It is the hardest method. They beautifully carved in between the alphabet letters using sand stones for the message to be clearer.”
In 2017, the Royal Commission of AlUla closed the mountain to begin preparation for the public to visit. Ikmah is now prepared and open to the public under the commission’s supervision.

 

The rebirth of AlUla
Hegra, ancient city of the Nabataeans in Saudi Arabia’s historic AlUla Valley, is emerging from the mists of time to take its rightful place as one of the wonders of the world
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