Saudi project clears 1,000 Houthi mines in a single week

The vast number of mines continues to pose a threat to Yemeni civilians. (SPA)
Updated 14 August 2019

Saudi project clears 1,000 Houthi mines in a single week

  • Expert teams have cleared more than 80,000 mines since the project began in July 2018

RIYADH: Saudi-led mine clearance teams have de-activated nearly 1,000 Houthi explosive devices in Yemen in a single week.

MASAM, the Saudi project for landmine clearance, disabled 15 anti-personnel mines, 458 anti-vehicle mines, two explosive devices and 490 unexploded bombs — a total of 965 devices — during the second week of August.

Expert teams have cleared more than 80,000 mines since the project began in July 2018. 

However, Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen are thought to have planted more than a million mines in the past three years. The Houthis are also developing anti-vehicle mines and converting them into anti-personnel devices.

“The vast number of land mines continues to pose a threat to the lives of Yemeni people,” a MASAMspokesman said. “The Houthi militias lay internationally banned devices randomly near residential areas, on roads and farmland in liberated regions, threatening civilians who are outside the battlefield.”

In July, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) extended the contract for the MASAM initiative for a further year, with an investment of $31 million to ensure that Saudi and international experts can continue to clear mines, especially in the governorates of Marib, Aden, Sanaa and Taiz.

The initiative is aimed at delivering security for the Yemeni people, and is one of several launched by the Kingdom.

KSRelief chief Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah said the Kingdom had conducted more than 1,000 humanitarian aid programs worth $3.5 billion in 44 countries since 2014.


Saudi leadership condemns Florida Navy base shooting

Updated 07 December 2019

Saudi leadership condemns Florida Navy base shooting

  • King orders Saudi security agencies to cooperate with US investigators to bring about a speedy resolution to the incident
  • Three people were killed and several injured in the attack at the Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman called US President Donald Trump on Friday to offer his sincere condolences after three Americans were killed during an attack by a Saudi student at a US naval base in Pensacola, Florida.

The king offered his sympathies to the families and friends of the victims and said he prays for the quick recovery of those injured during the attack.

King Salman said the culprit, a Saudi air force trainee, does not represent the Saudi people, “who have utmost respect for the American people.”

King Salman said Saudi Arabia stands by the US in its hour of grief, and that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the gunman, and that this person in no way, shape or form, represents the feelings of the Saudi people.

King Salman ordered Saudi security services to cooperate fully with the relevant American agencies to share all information that will help to reveal the circumstances surrounding the shootings.

Adel Al-Jubeir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs said: “My deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences go out to the American people, and to the families of those effected by the tragedy that unfolded at Pensacola.”

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar said her thoughts are with the families of those effected by the shooting.

“The Saudi people are united in their condemnation of this crime,” she said. “We stand in solidarity with our American friends during these difficult times.”

 

 

Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the foreign minister, described the shooting as a “heinous crime.”

“The Kingdom expresses its deepest condolences to the families of victims, and to the American people. We salute the bravery of those who neutralized the threat and saved lives,” he said.

 

 

Deputy Minister of Defence Prince Khalid bin Salman also extended his condolences to those effected.

He said that like many Saudi military personnel he was trained in a US military base.
“We used that valuable training to fight side by side with our American allies against terrorism and other threats,” Prince Khalid said on Twitter.

“A large number of Saudi graduates of the Naval Air Station in Pensacola moved on to serve with their US counterparts in battlefronts around the world, helping to safeguard regional and global security. Today's tragic event is strongly condemned by everyone in Saudi Arabia.”