JIAT to join Yemen bombing probe, US advice to be sought

Yemenis are complaining that Houthi militias have blocked instant messaging application, WhatsApp, to sabotage calls for mass protests against their atrocities (Source: Twitter)
Updated 10 October 2016

JIAT to join Yemen bombing probe, US advice to be sought

JEDDAH: The Saudi-led coalition, supporting the legitimate government in Yemen, said on Sunday it was deeply saddened by the regrettable and painful bombing of the great hall in Sanaa on Saturday, which reportedly led to deaths and injuries.

“The coalition will immediately investigate this case along with the Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) in Yemen, and the team will seek advice from the US which can help with their experiences and lessons learned in such investigations,” the coalition said in a statement sent to Arab News.
“The coalition is also willing to provide the investigation team with any data and information related to its military operations on Sunday, at the incident’s location and surrounding areas. The result of the investigation should be announced as soon as it’s completed,” added the statement.
“The coalition expressed its deepest condolences and support to the families of the victims of hostilities since the coup in Yemen in 2014. The coalition confirms that its troops have clear instructions not to target populated areas and to avoid civilians,” the statement added
Also on Sunday, Saudi air defenses intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by Houthi militias targeting Maarib, and Taif inside the Kingdom. Earlier in the day, the coalition forces repelled an attack by Houthi militias and forces loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh, which tried to reach the Saudi border off Al-Khubah in Jazan region.
The militias’ infantry tried to attack the Saudi border on several points through the Yemeni mountains bordering Saudi Arabia, especially Mount Razih, but was foiled by an attack carried out by the coalition jet fighters and artillery.
Military sources said dozens of militants died in the attack. Their military vehicles and missile launchers were also destroyed.
The coalition takes all measures to ensure that its airstrikes are precisely conducted to avoid civilian gatherings, its spokesman Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri told Arab News earlier.
“The coalition has always avoided such gatherings and these have never been targets of the air raids,” Al-Assiri explained. Accusations against the coalition come as Yemeni citizens in Sanaa continue to stage massive demonstrations against the Houthi militias, who have caused damage and wreaked havoc on Yemen since they took over the capital two years ago, helped by the forces supporting former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Meanwhile, in a desperate attempt, Houthis set up roadblocks and disperse their troops in the streets to prevent citizens from responding to calls on social media to gather in the center of the capital, eyewitnesses from Sanaa said.
Over the past two days, the hashtag “ana nazel” (I am participating) has been trending on social media, vowing to sustain the protest against the Houthi militias, accused of starving the Yemeni people and failing to pay public servants’ salaries for the past two months. Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi had transferred the Yemeni Central Bank from Sanaa to Aden two months back.


DiplomaticQuarter: US ambassador lauds Saudi Arabia for successful Hajj season

Updated 06 August 2020

DiplomaticQuarter: US ambassador lauds Saudi Arabia for successful Hajj season

  • The envoy also praised Saudi hospitality during the Hajj season

RIYADH: US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid has lauded the Kingdom for its successful and safe organization of the curtailed Hajj pilgrimage amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

The envoy also praised Saudi hospitality during the Hajj season and expressed his appreciation for the country’s generosity.

“On behalf of the US Mission to Saudi Arabia, I extend our best wishes to all Muslims in Saudi Arabia and around the world on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha,” Abizaid said in a statement.

He thanked the Saudi leadership for the care and services provided to the specially selected group of around 1,000 pilgrims of various nationalities allowed to perform Hajj.

“I would also like to express our deep appreciation to King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Minister of Hajj and Umrah Dr. Mohammed Saleh Benten, and Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Dr. Abdullatif Al-Asheikh for the government’s actions to protect the health of those participating in this year’s Hajj pilgrimage. 

“I also extend our gratitude to the people of Saudi Arabia for their kind hospitality, friendship, and generosity during Eid and throughout the eight decades of our two countries’ close partnership. May the prayers for peace of all people around the world be heard,” he added.

Separately, the World Health Organization (WHO) also commended Saudi Arabia for its efforts in organizing Hajj.

WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus praised the steps taken by the Kingdom to ensure the safety of pilgrims and said the preventive measures had set an example for other countries to follow in working toward lifting COVID-19 restrictions.