International condemnation of Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport

The missile hit the arrivals hall of Abha airport. (SPA)
Updated 13 June 2019

International condemnation of Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport

  • UAE said the act was proof of the Houthi militia’s attempts to undermine regional security
  • US Embassy in Saudi Arabia condemned in the strongest terms the Houthi militia attack which 'targeted innocent civilians'

RIYADH: Leaders from around the Arab world have condemned a Houthi missile attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha International Airport.  

In the early hours of Wednesday, the Iranian-backed Houthi militia targeted the airport in southern Saudi Arabia, which injured 26 civilians, an Arab coalition spokesman said.

The UAE, in its condemnation of the attack, said the act was proof of the Houthi militia’s attempts to “undermine regional security.”

In a statement, the Emirati foreign ministry renewed its “full solidarity” with Saudi Arabia and said it “stands with Riyadh against any threat to the Kingdom’s security and stability.”

The UAE also renewed its support for all measures taken to combat extremism and Houthi terrorism to preserve the Kingdom’s security and the safety of its citizens and residents on its territory.

The ministry also wished the injured a speedy recovery.

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Houthi missile hits Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport injuring 26 people

TIMELINE: Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

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Bahrain also said on Wednesday that it “strongly condemned” the attack, calling it a “terrorist and cowardly criminal act against innocent civilians.”

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry expressed support with “the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” and affirmed “the need for a strong-willed international stand against Iran to stop it supporting these recurrent terrorist acts.”

Kuwait echoed Bahrain’s condemnation of the targeting, saying that the targeting was a “criminal attack” on innocent people.

The Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed expressed his and his country’s condemnation of the sinful terrorist act that targeted innocent lives and destabilized security and stability.

In a cable sent to King Salman, the amir reiterated Kuwait’s support for all measures taken by the Kingdom to confront terrorism and preserve its security.

The US Embassy in Saudi Arabia condemned in the strongest terms the Houthi militia attack which “targeted innocent civilians."


The US Mission in the Kingdom also issued a security alert and said the Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulates General in Jeddah and Dhahran are monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said the attack showed “new evidence” of Iran's malicious role in the region.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also condemned the Houthi criminal act and called on all to similarly condemn the attack, Al-Arabiya TV reported. 

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said the attack on the Kingdom’s territory represented a “serious escalation.”

Egypt said it stands by Saudi Arabia following the attack, calling for an immediate halt to all attacks on Saudi territory, saying it will “defy any attempt to target” the Kingdom.

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry also condemned the “terrorist attack” on the airport, and that Jordan supports Saudi Arabia in all measures taken to preserve its security.

Speaker of the Arab Parliament Mishal bin Fahm Al-Salami denounced the attack. In a statement Al-Salami called on the UN Security Council to adopt a firm position to classify the Houthi militia as a terrorist group for its flagrant violation of international law.

He affirmed the Arab Parliament’s support for the Kingdom and the measures taken to address all threats to its security and stability and the safety of its citizens.

Pakistan also condemned the attack. “Pakistan reiterates its full support and solidarity with the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against any threats to its security and territorial integrity,” a statement from the Foreign Office in Islamabad said. 

Ambassador of Djibouti to Saudi Arabia Dya-Eddin Said Bamakhrama said that his country condemned the aggression, which was a serious escalation of the conflict, and declared its solidarity with Saudi Arabia.

The legitimate Yemeni government said that the Houthis did not understand dialogue and diplomacy, and only understood the language of weapons and force. The Arab Coalition and the legitimate government had no choice but to resort to military options to end Houthi terrorism, the government’s spokesman Rajeh Badi said.

The attack follows an armed drone strike last month on two oil-pumping stations in Saudi Arabia. The Houthis have claimed responsibility for the attack.

Since the beginning of the four-year conflict, the Houthis have fired dozens of missiles into the Kingdom with most intercepted by the Saudi military. In recent weeks, tensions between warring parties have risen after the stalling of a UN-led peace deal.


Diriyah Gate to be a global, historical and cultural landmark

Updated 22 November 2019

Diriyah Gate to be a global, historical and cultural landmark

  • Diriyah is home to Al-Turaif District, built in 1744 and known as one of the largest clay cities in the world

DIRIYAH: With the establishment of the Diriyah Gate Development Authority (DGDA), the historical site of Diriyah will become one of the largest and most important international destinations.

The DGDA seeks to transform the site into a location to host activities and events aimed at exchanging historical and cultural knowledge through museums and venues spread throughout
Al-Turaif District.

 The DGDA aims to celebrate the people of Diriyah by telling their stories and demonstrating their social, cultural and historical the roots, as the cradle of the first Saudi state and a symbol of the beauty of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and
its people.

 Diriyah is home to Al-Turaif District, built in 1744 and known as one of the largest clay cities in the world. It was registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2010 — one of five Saudi sites listed.

Not far from Al-Turaif District is the historic Al-Bujairi District, which was a center for spreading science and knowledge during the prosperity of Diriyah, as the capital of the first Saudi state. 

Today it houses many commercial centers and cafes and is the perfect destination to experience Saudi cuisine.

One of the historical landmarks in Al-Turaif District is Salwa Palace, which is located in the northeastern part. It is the largest of its landmarks and spans over 10,000 square meters. It was founded by Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed bin Saud in 1765, and is historically known as the home of the first royal family. 

The palace houses the Diriyah Museum, which presents the history and development of the first Saudi state through works of art, drawings, models and documentaries.

BACKGROUND

At the northern end of old Diriyah, the town of Ghusaybah sits atop of a plateau surrounded by the Hanifa Valley on three sides.

Salwa Palace forms an integrated architectural system with its residential, administrative, cultural and religious units.

 Al-Turaif District also includes the Imam Muhammad bin Saud Mosque, known as the Great Mosque or Al-Turaif Mosque. It is adjacent to Salwa Palace on the north side, and Imams used to lead Friday prayers there.

 To make movement between the mosque and the palace easier, Imam Saud bin Abdul Aziz built a bridge to connect them on the upper floor. The mosque houses a religious school to teach religious sciences. It was formerly the largest mosque in the Arabian Peninsula and was built to symbolize the strength and unity of the Saudi state.

 At the northern end of old Diriyah, the town of Ghusaybah sits atop of a plateau surrounded by the Hanifa Valley on three sides. It was settled by Mani’ Al-Muraydi, the oldest ancestor of the House of Saud, in the 15th century. 

Ghusaybah is a well-established location, carefully chosen for the establishment of the new governorate, and its location played a major role in the protection of Hajj convoys and trade passing through its areas of influence in Al-Arid region.

 Ghusaybah was the seat of an independent governorate before the founding of the first Saudi state. It provided protection for the northern gate of Diriyah during the campaign of Ibrahim Pasha in 1818.

 Samhan is one of the historical areas south of Ghusaybeh on a triangle overlooking the valley when it meets another tributary, the villages of Omran. It directly overlooks the districts of Qusayrin, Mrayih, and Al-Turaif. This location was important during the reign of Imam Mohammed bin Saud and his son Samhan, being a well-fortified site during the siege of Diriyah. It was selected by Imam Abdullah to be his defense headquarters.

 In the field of philanthropy, one may mention “Sabala Moudhi” which was founded by Imam Abdul Aziz bin Mohammed bin Saud, who made it a charitable endowment in the name of his mother, Moudhi bint Sultan bin Abi Wahtan, wife of Imam Mohammed bin Saud. 

It is located east of the Salwa Palace on the southeast of Al-Turaif District. It is a two-story building and was established to provide free accommodation for visitors coming to the city of Diriyah.