Syrian Aid: What The U.N. And the U.S. Should Have Been Doing All Along

Syrian Aid

(10-01-13)   (02-19-18)

What the U.N. And The U.S. Should Have Been Doing All Along

As most people in the world who have radio’s or television reception knows, there is a very bloody civil war going on in the country of Syria for about two and a half years now. The United Nations tells us that during this war about 100,000 civilians have been killed with at least one million people displaced. Displaced in this case means that these people have been not only uprooted from their homes, these are people who have left the borders of their country hoping for safety in one of their neighboring countries. Wars are never a pretty thing for a land of for the people of the land to have to endure, but, unfortunately sometimes people are forced to defend themselves. Picking up arms toward another person is always a personal demon that each person has to face within their own soul.

 

In Syria the city of Aleppo was the industrial hub of the country as well as the countries largest city. I have seen online many pictures of this city as it looks today. This city is one that has been one of the major battlegrounds of the fighting between the Presidents military forces and the people trying to defeat him. This city is now in horrible physical condition from large bombing campaigns just like many smaller cities and towns across their country. If you get a chance Google stories and pictures of what is happening in Syria. Like in most any military conflict the loss of physical and human destruction is heart wrenching. When you are looking at pictures of all of these bombed out businesses and homes I have a question for you that I want you to think about. I will use Aleppo as my example for my question. Looking at the destruction how is it possible for the people of the country to produce anything with so much danger constantly all around them?

 

Let each of us try to put ourselves into the story-line which is the Syria of today. When war is going on around you, even if you consider yourself and your family as non-combatant, what quality of life do you think you are capable of having? Do you think life as you have known it will not change just because you tell all warring sides that you are neutral? Even if you are lucky enough not to have had your place of employment bombed yet, nor had combatants come to your place of employment and kill everyone, do you think you are going to feel safe going into work each day? Do you think that your coworkers are going to take the chance of putting themselves into a crowded situation which makes them a bigger body count for the combatants? When almost all if not all commerce production is stopped because of a war, there is no GDP for the country which in this case is hurting the government side in this conflict. But, if the people have no jobs to go to, thus having no income, plus the fact that there aren’t any needed daily goods in which to buy, the populous itself is now drawn into the reality of this war even if they completely don’t want to be. I am not just speaking of items that are non essentials like wallpaper and couches. With the situation the Syrian people are in, they can’t even get enough food to keep from starving. No one in this war zone can possibly lay their head down for a nap without fear they may be attacked at any moment. That is if they are lucky enough to have a roof over their head in some place that has not been boomed out yet. Please also consider that the people of Syria are now facing their third winter in this civil war with all their basic needs absent.

 

What I have described above is background information for those who have paid no attention to the events unfolding in Syria and their region of the world. Once again an Islamic country in the Mediterranean region is in flux. The American government usually is put into a position where many expect us to be the world’s policeman. As most of you know the government of Syria is being backed by Russia who is their biggest most powerful ally and they have a major naval base in Syria. Russia has blocked most western attempts to help those fighting against the Syrian President Mr. Al-Assad. The second biggest Syrian ally is Iran who has been helping backup the Syrian military by sending thousands of trained fighters from the Islamic militant group Hezbollah which Iran protects and trains within their own borders and within the nation of Lebanon.

 

Syria’s president and his family are believers in a sect of Shia Islam  known as Alawites but the majority of the Syrian people are also faithful to the Shia sect of Islam. This is why Iran is helping president Al-Assad, you see, Iran is the largest Shia based country in the world and in Islam the Sunni-Shia differences are massive, violence between these two sects have been simmering, sometimes boiling over into violent conflicts for about 1,400 years now. This is why Iran is helping the government forces and this religious divide is why majority Sunni countries like Saudi-Arabia are helping out the rebel forces that are fighting president Al-Assad’s forces. Russia’s backing of the Syrian government has nothing to do with religion though, their reasons are simply economic and military alliances.

 

Here in America our politicians have been debating about whether or not to send military help to the Syrian rebels. Lately discussions have been about such things as bombing certain government locations and/or putting a no fly zone in parts of the country to help the rebel groups. Part of the problems with the rebel groups is that it is very fractious with several main bodies and no real central command. There are many confirmed reports that many of the people fighting against the government are from very dangerous Sunni Islamic groups like Al-Qaeda which are groups of the same philosophy  that attacked America on 9-11-2001. So the question comes to light, do we, meaning the U.S. and the west European countries give weapons and training to groups that once that war is over would then use those same weapons against us?

 

Now, I will express to you what I totally believe that the U.S. and the west European powers as well as the U.N. should have been doing since shortly after this civil war broke out. First, militarily we should be completely hands off. What we as a Christian nation and people, as well as the governing body of the U.N. should have been doing to help the innocent Syrian people who have been trying to flee their country via  going to their neighboring countries trying to stay alive, is that we should have been helping these people from the beginning of this human disaster.

 

Syria’s neighbors badly need help from the outside world in the facilitation of a million plus people into their countries. What we need to be doing and should have been doing is to send these desolate human beings, our brothers and sisters of humanity, the basic staples they need for survival. What aid we should be offering and delivering is things like food, tents, clothes, and blankets, not weapons. The only time we should use any military force in this civil war would be if the Syrian government force attack these refugee camps and then only if the presiding country whose borders were breached asks for us to help.

Saudi women can now start their own business without male permission

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Saudi women can now start their own business without male permission

Saudi Arabia is pushing to expand the country’s private sector, including an expansion of female employment under a reform plan for a post-oil era.

WORLD Updated: Feb 18, 2018 19:59 IST

Agence France-Presse, Riyadh
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne, has been leading the drive to expand the role of women in the workforce in recent months.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne, has been leading the drive to expand the role of women in the workforce in recent months. (AFP File Photo)

Women in Saudi Arabia can now open their own businesses without the consent of a husband or male relative, as the kingdom pushes to expand a fast-growing private sector.

The policy change, announced by the Saudi government on Thursday, also marks a major step away from the strict guardianship system that has ruled the country for decades.

“Women can now launch their own businesses and benefit from (governmental) e-services without having to prove consent from a guardian,” the ministry of commerce and investment said on its website.

Under Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system, women are required to present proof of permission from a male “guardian” — normally the husband, father or brother — to do any government paperwork, travel or enrol in classes.

Long dependent on crude production for economic revenue, Saudi Arabia is pushing to expand the country’s private sector, including an expansion of female employment under a reform plan for a post-oil era.

While women still face a host of restrictions in the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor’s office this month said it would begin recruiting women investigators for the first time.

The kingdom has also opened 140 positions for women at airports and border crossings, a historic first that the government said drew 107,000 female applicants.

Read more

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the powerful heir to the Saudi throne, has been leading the drive to expand the role of women in the workforce in recent months.

His father, King Salman, in September approved the end of a decades-long ban on driving, which goes into effect in June.

The 32-year-old prince pledged a “moderate, open” Saudi Arabia in October, breaking with ultra-conservative clerics in favour of an image catering to foreign investors and Saudi youth.

Prince Mohammed is widely seen as the chief architect behind Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030” reform programme, which seeks to elevate the percentage of women in the work force from 22 percent to nearly one-third.

Saudis okay airspace for direct India-Israel flights

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Saudis reportedly okay airspace for direct India-Israel flights; Riyadh denies

Israeli sources confirm agreement struck for route from Tel Aviv to Delhi; Air India says still awaiting regulatory approval

Illustrative: Air India planes parked on the tarmac at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India, on May 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

Illustrative: Air India planes parked on the tarmac at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India, on May 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

Saudi Arabia reportedly okayed the use of its airspace for flights between Israel and India, according to Hebrew-language media Wednesday. However, a Saudi official quickly denied the claim.

The approval, which would cut hours off the flight route, would be a first and mark a major milestone in Israel’s attempts to deepen ties with Gulf Sunni states.

In a deal struck with Riyadh, Air India will begin offering direct flights from Tel Aviv to New Delhi on March 20, ahead of the Passover holiday, according to the Haaretz daily and the Kan broadcaster, citing Israeli aviation officials.

The Saudi Arabia Aviation Authority denied ever granting such approval, and a spokesman for Air India told Reuters that the airline is still waiting for the Indian aviation regulator to approve the move.

The report came as Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj was visiting Riyadh on an official trip.

Currently, El Al is the only airline offering direct flights from Israel to India, with a Tel Aviv-Mumbai route. In order to avoid Saudi Arabia, which forbids flights to and from Israel over its airspace, the plane must detour over the Red Sea and around the Arabian peninsula, adding over two hours to the flight.

The Israeli Tourism Ministry is hoping Wednesday’s approval will be a gateway for other Far East countries that had been discouraged from offering direct flights due to the need to bypass Saudi Arabia, Israel’s Globes business daily reported.

The report comes as Israel has tried to build ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states allied with the US, which have a common enemy in Iran. However, Riyadh has remained skittish about openly admitting to contacts with Israel.

The direct flight proposal was a main topic on the agenda during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India last month. Speaking at an economic forum in Mumbai, Netanyahu said the goal was for a “efficient and direct route” to be established between the countries.

READ MORE:
COMMENTS

Yemen’s Prime Minister Is Preparing to Flee: Houthis At Palace Gate

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME NEWS)

 

Pause

Mute

Current Time2:02
/
Duration Time2:36

Loaded: 0%

Progress: 0%

Share

Fullscreen

By AHMED AL-HAJ / AP

4:48 AM EST

(SANAA, Yemen) — Yemen’s prime minister was preparing to flee the country on Tuesday for Saudi Arabia after separatists seized the area around the presidential palace in the southern port city of Aden in fierce battles overnight, security officials said.

According to the officials, fighters loyal to the so-called Southern Transitional Council fought all way to the gates of the Palace of Maashiq in the district of Crater in Aden, forcing President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s troops to abandon their positions. The officials said Hadi’s prime minister and several Cabinet members would leave imminently to Riyadh.

The palace is the seat of Yemen’s internationally backed government. The separatist forces did not enter the palace itself and were stopped by Saudi Arabian troops who have been guarding the palace for the past months.

However, a senior government official told The Associated Press that Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar and several ministers remain inside and that the separatists have not seized the palace itself.

The official declined to say whether the prime minister was to leave Aden. The security officials and the government official spoke on condition of anonymity under regulations.

The fighting in Aden first erupted on Sunday, when a deadline issued by the separatists for the government to resign expired. Hadi, who himself is in self-imposed exile in Saudi Arabia has described the separatists’ action as a “coup.”

The violence in Aden has killed at least 36 people and wounded 185 since Sunday, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

It has also exposed deep divisions within the alliance between Hadi’s government and the Saudi-led coalition. The two are fighting against Yemen’s Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, who are in control of the country’s north. The war started in 2015 when the Houthis captured much of the northern region after overrunning the capital, Sanaa.

The warring parties have been locked in a bloody stalemate for most of the last three years. Yemen’s war has left over 10,000 civilians dead and 2 million displaced, with the United Nations saying Yemen is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

But within the Saudi-led coalition, allies from the United Arab Emirates have trained the separatist forces and empowered them over the past year, in a direct challenge to Hadi, who is in Riyadh.

The unfolding events in Aden have thrown Yemen into deeper uncertainty.

The U.S. State Department has expressed concern and called upon all parties to “refrain from escalation and further bloodshed.” Washington backs the Saudi-led coalition.

“We also call for dialogue among all parties in Aden to reach a political solution,” the statement said. “The Yemeni people are already facing a dire humanitarian crisis. Additional divisions and violence within Yemen will only increase their suffering.”

SPONSORED FINANCIAL CONTENT

(Poem) O Say Can You See—(George W Bush and the Saudi King)

O SAY CAN YOU SEE

 

O say can you see the demons in white

Weather in an office of Oval or Mecca’s moonlight

O how they smile and they grin

While at the ranch they walk holding hands

Their black gold is only a means to their ends

To God or to man they are no humans friends

When your goal is power and wealth

Their prayers, God turns his face, an abomination to Him

They are only for others consumption

As they try so hard to conceal the Demon’s within

O say can you see your Master awaits

At the lake filled with fire their eternity awaits

While it is still day and your fate is not yet set

These leaders remain in my prayers though they don’t care

Hoping for all , this fate, is one we are all able to escape

Iran’s Supreme Murderer Ali Khamenei Blames Iran’s Enemy’s For Protests

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

LONDON — Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, blamed “enemies” of Iran on Tuesday for protests that have left more than 20 people dead, in his first comments since the unrest started last week.

“In recent events, enemies of Iran have allied & used the various means they possess, including money, weapons, politics & intelligence services, to trouble the Islamic Republic,” said a post in English on Ayatollah Khamenei’s Twitter account. “The enemy is always looking for an opportunity & any crevice to infiltrate & strike the Iranian nation.”

As of Tuesday morning, the death toll from the protests across the country and the ensuing crackdown by the government and security services was at least 21. About 450 people had been taken into custody in the capital, Tehran, alone, according to the semiofficial news agency ILNA, and arrests have also been reported elsewhere.

Ayatollah Khamenei, who has been a target of the protesters, did not specify which individuals or countries he was referring to, saying he would “speak to the dear people when the time is right.”

In his stream of posts on Twitter, he did, however, implicitly compare the current demonstrations to Iran’s eight-year war with Iraq in the 1980s, when the United States, its European allies and the Persian Gulf monarchies of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates backed the Baath Party government of Saddam Hussein against Tehran.

 

“During Saddam’s imposed war on #Iran, If the Ba’thi enemies had entered Iran, they would show no mercy towards anything or anyone,” Ayatollah Khamenei wrote in another tweet. “Iran’s situation would be worse off than today’s #Libya or #Syria.”

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the other Persian Gulf monarchies are all backing the rebels fighting the Iranian-backed government in Syria.

In Libya, NATO led a bombing campaign that helped remove Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in 2011, and both the United Arab Emirates and Qatar have continued to back allied groups inside Libya in the continuing civil strife there.

“The Iranian nation will forever owe the dear martyrs, who left behind their homes and families, to stand against the wicked enemies backed by westerners, easterners, as well as reactionaries of the region,” Ayatollah Khamenei wrote, apparently in another reference to the Iran-Iraq war.

His remarks came a day after President Trump criticized Iran, saying the country’s leaders had repressed their people for years. Mr. Trump again addressed the situation there on Tuesday, in another Twitter post that appeared shortly after the supreme leader’s, in which he expressed solidarity with the Iranian people, even though he has sought to prevent them from entering the United States.

That drew an angry response from Iran, with Bahram Qasemi, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, describing Mr. Trump’s comments as insulting, useless and counterproductive, the state news media reported.

“It is better for him to try to address the internal issues, like the murder of scores killed on a daily basis in the United States during armed clashes and shootings, as well as millions of the homeless and hungry people in the country,” Mr. Qasemi said, according to the state-run news agency IRNA.

The protests are the largest in Iran since 2009, during the so-called Green Movement, which took place after the election of the hard-line leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and transitioned into a wider protest against the country’s leadership.

The latest demonstrations, which largely seemed to come out of nowhere and have surprised the authorities with their size and intensity, appear to be rooted in anger toward President Hassan Rouhani, who is regarded as a moderate, and his inability to bring change to an economy that has long suffered under the weight of sanctions.

As the protests have continued, however, they have taken on a political bent directed at the establishment, with demonstrators calling for the death of Mr. Rouhani and Ayatollah Khamenei.

Mr. Rouhani has tried to acknowledge the protesters’ complaints, asking them to avoid violence while saying they had a right to be heard, but others in the government have called for a firmer response.

Brig. Gen Esmaeil Kowsari, deputy chief of the main Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps base in Tehran, told the semiofficial news agency ISNA: “If this situation continues, the officials will definitely make some decisions, and at that point this business will be finished.”

Iran is battling with the Saudi-led Persian Gulf states for dominance across several unstable countries around the region.

In addition to providing military support for Damascus against Syrian rebels who receive backing from Gulf states, Tehran is providing aid to Houthis in Yemen who are fighting Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

21COMMENTS

Iran has provided support for protesters and militants opposing the Saudi-backed monarchy in Bahrain, and Iran-assisted factions dominate the politics of Lebanon and Iraq against opponents Saudi Arabia backs.

In most cases, the contest for power plays out through sectarian rivalries. Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf monarchs are backing fellow Sunni Muslims in each arena, and the Shiite government of Iran is backing Shiites in Lebanon, Iraq and Bahrain, as well as allied heterodox Muslim sects like the Alawites in Syria or the Houthis in Yemen.

Yazidis Accused of Executing Civilians in Nineveh

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Yazidis Accused of Executing Civilians in Nineveh

Thursday, 28 December, 2017 – 12:30
AFP
Baghdad – Asharq Al-Awsat

The US-based rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), has accused Yazidi fighters in Iraq of forcibly kidnapping and killing 52 civilians from the Imteywit tribe earlier in June.

It said in a report on Wednesday that it has information from relatives of the victims that on June 4 Yazidi forces detained and then executed men, women and children from eight families from the Imteywit tribe.

The families were fleeing fighting between ISIS and Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) west of Mosul.

Deputy Governor of Nineveh province Abdulrahman al-Luizi stressed that the massacre had taken place and called for holding the perpetrators accountable for their crimes. However, a Yazidi official from the PMF claimed that the dead were ISIS members.

Yazidi forces were also implicated in two other incidents of enforced disappearances of members of the Imteywit and Jahaysh tribes in late 2017, HRW said.

“Past atrocities against the Yazidis don’t give its armed forces a free pass to commit abuses against other groups, whatever their past,” said Lama Fakih, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.

In early 2017, Yazidi fighters formed the Lalish Brigades and the Ezidkhan Brigades, units under the PMF, a force of the Iraqi prime minister, and therefore part of the state’s armed forces.

Two Yazidi community leaders told Human Rights Watch that the Ezidkhan Brigades were responsible for the abduction and killing of the 52 Imteywit tribe members.

Senior Yazidis have alleged that the Imteywit and Jahaysh tribes participated with ISIS in the executions and abuse of Yazidi men and women in August 2014.

Members of the two tribes denied these allegations, claiming the Yazidis were scapegoating them for ISIS atrocities.

“Few months before launching the operation to liberate Sinjar, a Yazidi militia linked to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) northern Sinjar region committed a crime,” Luizi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

“After the liberation battles, which were overseen by the PMF in Sinjar and Tal Afar areas, a Yazidi faction, under the umbrella of the PMF, killed 52 people, including 27 women, 10 children and 15 men. They also kidnapped eight farmers from the Arab tribes in another incident and their fate is still unknown,” he further explained.

Citizen’s Account: 700,000 Saudi Families Receive More than USD266

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)

 

Citizen’s Account: 700,000 Saudi Families Receive More than USD266

Wednesday, 27 December, 2017 – 12:00
The Citizen’s Account.
Riyadh – Asharq Al-Awsat

A total of 700,000 families received over SAR1,000 (USD266) per family as financial aid through the Citizen’s Account Program, knowing that the second installment will be paid on January 10, 2018.

According to a statement issued by the program, beneficiaries would be those whose applications were completed by December 16. Other installments will be transferred on the 10th of each month unless it falls on a weekend.

The program is still receiving objection applications for ineligible beneficiaries through the e-portal
https://www.ca.gov.sa.

Any person registered in the program can submit an objection over the ineligibility decision through the program e-portal within three months after the result issuance. They can also follow-up on the objection through the portal, text messages and email.

In case the objection was accepted, allowances are paid retroactively from the day of the eligibility result announcement to the objection acceptance day.

In case the applicant did not file an objection at the first place within three months, then he should submit a new registration application through the e-portal.

Eligible beneficiaries should hold the Saudi nationality, except for the daughter/son of the non-Saudi wife/spouse.

Beneficiaries should be permanent residents inside the kingdom and they should not have resided outside of it for more than 90 days in the past 12 months.

Exceptions are made for those who prove that their presence outside the kingdom was for a justified reason. Also, eligible beneficiaries should not be staying at any government shelter or held in any prison.

The Citizen Account is a national program aimed at raising the efficiency of government support for eligible citizens, so that Saudi families are not forced to shoulder the burden of future economic reforms.

Saudi Arabia bars Israelis from chess tournament

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Saudi Arabia bars Israelis from chess tournament

Israeli association says it may sue World Chess Federation after seven Israeli players denied visas for competition in Riyadh later this week

Illustrative: Chess players at a tournament in Jerusalem on February 25, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Illustrative: Chess players at a tournament in Jerusalem on February 25, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israeli chess players on Sunday were denied the visas necessary for them to participate in an international tournament in Saudi Arabia next week, crushing hopes that they could make history by being the first representatives of the Jewish state to take part in such an event hosted by the kingdom.

Seven Israeli players had filed requests for visas to participate in the games to be held in Riyadh on December 26-30 as part of the world rapid and blitz chess championships.

Last month, the World Chess Federation (FIDE), which runs the tournament, said that it was “making a huge effort to assure that all players get their visas.”

But on Sunday that international body announced that its efforts were for naught.

Moshe Shalev, the interim head of the Israel Chess Federation, told The Times of Israel that the players had not been granted visas and said his group was discussing taking legal action.

“We are thinking about suing the World Chess Federation,” he said.

The federation’s vice president, Israel Gelfer, earlier told the Reuters news service that visas for the seven Israeli players “have not been issued and will not be issued.”

Israel and Saudi Arabia have no official relations. The public presence of Israelis there would be highly unusual, and would come as officials from the Jewish state increasingly hint at covert ties with the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

Israel and Saudi Arabia share a common fear of Iran’s attempts to increase its influence in the region.

Last month, the Israel Chess Federation said it “supports FIDE’s policy to hold the tournament in Saudi alongside FIDE’s commitment to ensure the participation of Israelis would not be subject to limitations,” spokesman Lior Aizenberg told AFP.

“We expect the Saudis, aided by FIDE, to approve our requests for visas to play,” he said.

Aizenberg noted the Israeli chess federation chairman Zvika Barkai had discussed the issue of the Saudi visas with Makropoulos as well as with FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who recently visited Israel.

A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry said the Israeli government wouldn’t have a problem were the players to participate in the Riyadh games if the visas were granted. (It is technically illegal for Israelis to travel to the kingdom, as it is considered an enemy country, though this is rarely enforced.)

Israeli athletes often face difficulties when competing in the Middle East or against Middle Eastern countries due to hostility toward their country.

In a recent incident, an Iranian wrestler was lauded by his government after he intentionally lost an international bout at a tournament in Poland over the weekend to avoid having to face an Israeli opponent.

AFP and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

READ MORE:

Houthi missile attack on Riyadh sparks global outrage

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘ARAB NEWS’)

 

SAUDI ARABIA

Houthi missile attack on Riyadh sparks global outrage

The attempted attack comes just weeks after Houthi militias launched a missile at Riyadh on November 4, targeting King Khalid International Airport. The missile was downed by Patriot air defense batteries. (AFP)

DUBAI: A number of countries and organizations have condemned the launch of a ballistic missile by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen aimed at Riyadh.
Houthi forces fired a ballistic missile toward Riyadh on Tuesday, targeting the Al-Yamamah Royal Palace in the Saudi capital. Royal Saudi Air Defense forces intercepted the missile and shot it down and prevented damage.
The attempted attack comes just weeks after the group in Yemen launched a missile at Riyadh on Nov. 4, targeting King Khalid International Airport.
A UN Security Council-appointed panel confirmed the missile was manufactured in Iran, along with three other missiles fired from Yemen toward the Kingdom this year.
US
The United States strongly condemned the missile attack on Riyadh. In a statement issued by US Department of State Spokesperson Heather Nauert, it was confirmed that the US remains deeply disturbed by aggressive Houthi actions supported by Iran’s provision of advanced weapons, which threaten regional security and prolong the Yemen conflict.
“The United States calls on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to stop arming and enabling the Houthis’ violent actions against Yemen’s neighbors, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Nauert added.
Italy
Italy also condemned the launch of the ballistic missile. Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alvano said in a statement today: “This terrorist act constitutes a threat to regional peace and stability and undermines the prospects for a negotiated and comprehensive solution to the crisis.”
UAE
The UAE condemned the missile launch and said that the attack drew attention to the dangerous and negative role played by Iran in supporting the militia and its insistence on continuing its hostile practices by providing the Houthi group with ballistic missiles that threaten peace and security in the region.
In a statement, the UAE emphasized its full support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against any party that tries to threaten its security or harms peace and stability in its territory, while reaffirming the organic link between the security of Saudi Arabia and the security of the UAE.
The UAE reiterated its commitment to the Arab Coalition to achieve security and stability in Yemen.
Jordan
Jordan on Tuesday condemned the Houthi’s attempt to target Saudi Arabia and denounced it as a belligerent act.
Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammed Al-Momani voiced Jordan’s unwavering support for Saudi Arabia in its efforts to counter recurrent aggressions initiated by the Houthi faction.
Jordan, he said, unequivocally backs Saudi maneuvers to reach a peaceful settlement to the Yemeni crisis.
Bahrain
In a statement issued by Bahrain News Agency, the Kingdom of Bahrain stressed that it stands by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against any attempt to threat its security and stability.
It renewed its commitment to support the legitimate Yemeni government headed by President Abdu Rabbo Mansur Hadi through participation in the Arab Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen.
Morocco
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement on Wednesday that the Kingdom of Morocco strongly condemned the missile launched at the city of Riyadh, while renewing its solidarity with Saudi Arabia against any act that harms the safety of its territory and the peace of its inhabitants.
Morocco also expressed its deep concern at the escalation, which further deepens the Yemeni crisis due to its negative impact on the stability of the region.
Djibouti
Ambassador of the Republic of Djibouti to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Dyauddin Said Bamakhrama condemned the act.
Bamakhrama expressed the solidarity of the Republic of Djibouti with Saudi Arabia and added that the country considers any act of aggression against Saudi Arabia as an act of aggression against Djibouti.
Lebanon
Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned the act in a released statement, saying: “The repeated targeting of Saudi territory by missile attacks from Yemeni territory not only threatens the security of the Kingdom and the safety of its people, but also exposes the region to serious dangers and exacerbates existing divisions and conflicts.
“We strongly condemn such attacks,” he said. “We stress that these aggressive methods must be abandoned and we must refrain from policies that fuel conflicts and conduct dialogue through solving the intractable problems.”
Organization of Islamic Cooperation
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) strongly condemned the missile launch.
OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen stressed that the continued launch of ballistic missiles toward the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confirms that Houthi militias are continuing their hostile approach that aims at destabilizing the security and stability of Saudi Arabia.
The secretary general reiterated the OIC’s support and solidarity with Saudi Arabia in all actions and measures it takes to maintain its security and stability.
Meanwhile, the internationally-recognized government of Yemen also strongly condemned the Iranian-backed Houthi’s targeting of the city of Riyadh.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: “This aggressive behavior of targeting Saudi Arabia with ballistic missiles reflects the extent of the danger that this extremist group has become and the level to which Iranian influence has reached it, which seeks to be used to harm regional and Arab security after helping them to cause massive destruction in all the Yemeni cities and towns that were invaded by the militias.”
The statement called on the international community and the UN Security Council to take strict measures against the Houthis and called for them to be considered as a terrorist organization.