JEDDAH, Nov 5, (Agencies): The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned in the strongest terms militias of Yemen’s Houthis and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and those who provide them with weapons and missiles to target the holy city of Makkah.
Concluding its meeting on Saturday in the Saudi City of Jeddah, OIC Executive Committee added in the final communique that the supporters of Houthis and Saleh that provide ballistic missiles and weapons are main partners in the assault on the Islamic sanctities.
All supporters of Houthis and Saleh are a clear partner in planting sectarian strife, and a key supporter of terrorism and instability in the Islamic world, the communique noted.
The committee consider firing the ballistic missile by Houthis and Saleh’s militias on October 27 towards Makkah an assault on the sanctities in Saudi Arabia and a provocation of Muslims’ feelings across the globe, it pointed out.
This act is an evidence that the militias reject the resolutions of international community, it made clear.
The conferees called on all member states for a unified stance against this “vicious assault” and those who provide weapons to the perpetrators.
They consider posing a threat to Saudi Arabia’s security is a threat to the entire Muslim world.
The communique stressed the statements issued by member states, non-member states, and regional and international organizations condemning this attack which aimed to destabilize security and stability of the sacred places, and to torpedo all efforts exerted to put an end to the conflict in Yemen peacefully.
The committee also affirmed the support of member states to Saudi Arabia so as to combat terrorism and those who try to target the holy places, it said.
The participants also stressed the solidarity of member states with Saudi Arabia in all steps and measures taken to maintain its security and stability, it said.
They called on the international community and member states to take serious and effective steps to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of such assaults in the future and to hold accountable all those who smuggle weapons and continue supporting the coup group.
The committee recommended holding an emergency meeting of foreign ministers of member states in Makkah within two weeks to discuss the attack by Houthis and Saleh’s militias.
Following the meeting, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Nizar Madani said in a statement that the representatives of Muslim countries expressed their strong condemnation of the “criminal act” launched by Houthis and Saleh toward Makkah.
The Command of Coalition Forces Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen managed to destroy the missile fired by Houthis and Saleh, 65 kilometers away from Makkah, without any damage.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels have shown five captives on TV, allegedly Saudi soldiers caught near the border.
The captives appeared in civilian clothes on Friday on Houthis’ al-Masirah TV; they identified themselves with name, rank and unit. Each gave the sites where they were captured, all either in the Najran or Asir border regions.
It was not clear which side of the border they were captured on, and no date was given for their capture. It was not immediately possible to verify the authenticity of the video.
The conflict in Yemen pits the Houthis and their allies against a US-backed, Saudi-led coalition supporting the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Hundreds of supporters of Yemen’s rebels protested in the capital Sanaa on Saturday against a UN peace roadmap aimed at ending a devastating war between the Shiite insurgents and loyalists.
UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed last month put forward the peace plan aimed at halting fighting between the Houthis and forces loyal to the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
The Mauritanian diplomat, who arrived in the insurgent-held capital on Thursday for his second visit in a week, has led talks in Yemen since April 2015 and brokered several ceasefires that were often violated and failed to generate momentum towards a peace deal.
United Nations sanctions monitors warned in an annual report released on Friday that possible foreign support for a new military base and seaport in Eritrea and the presence of foreign weapons and equipment were likely in violation of an arms embargo.
The monitors told the UN Security Council last year that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had established a military presence in Eritrea as part of the Saudi-led campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen, which lies just 40 km (25 miles) across the Red Sea from the poor Horn of Africa nation.
They said the use of Eritrea’s land, waters and airspace by other countries to conduct military operations in a third state was not a sanctions violation, but warned that “compensation diverted directly or indirectly towards activities that threatened peace and security in the region, or for the benefit of the Eritrean military, would constitute a violation.”
In the past year the UN monitors collected evidence, including the construction of a new military base at Assab airport and a new seaport next to it, indicating “there may have been external support for infrastructure development that could benefit the Eritrean military.”