RIYADH: The Houthi statement on Saturday that its missile was aimed at the King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah has drawn widespread condemnation from the diplomatic community.
In an attempt to defuse the international uproar, the Houthi militia on Friday denied targeting Makkah and claimed that the missile was aimed at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, AP reported.
The missile was intercepted and destroyed 65 km away from Makkah on Thursday night.
The diplomatic corps condemned the heinous attack that tried to undermine the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the Kingdom.
Jeddah airport is immensely significant as it is the gateway for the pilgrims coming from around the world for Haj and Umrah.
Denouncing the Houthi crime, Flavio Marega, Brazil’s ambassador, told Arab News: “This is against international law, I completely agree that such an attack must be condemned in strongest possible words.”
They first launched the missile deep inside and now trying to justify it saying it targeted the international airport, only makes it worse, he added. “This is not acceptable.”
Laurens Westhoff, the Netherlands ambassador, said: “Of course, I condemn the missile attack from the Houthis on the people of Saudi Arabia.”
The airports near Makkah, in Madinah or in Jeddah “are all civilian airports and we are against any such attacks that target the civilians,” he added.
The envoy said: “We really hope that the negotiators resume peace talks in order to restore peace in Yemen.”
Perturbed over the irresponsible denial, Pakistan Ambassador Manzoor Ul Haq said that saying the missile was aimed at the Jeddah airport is even more shocking.
“We strongly condemn attacks against any city, whether it is Jeddah or any other part of the Kingdom,” the envoy said.
Denouncing the attack, Lebanese Ambassador Abdul Sattar Issa said: “I strongly condemn this aggression on the territory of the Kingdom. It is unacceptable to target one of the two holiest places in Islam,” he said.
Turkish Ambassador Yunis Demirer said his country condemns it even if they (the Houthis) were not targeting the holy city of Makkah.
“This is not at all acceptable. We condemn the missile attack in the strongest words.”
Meanwhile, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, stressed that “this act is flagrant aggression and a provocative act for over a billion Muslims in the world.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Iyad Madani described the attack as “big foolishness emanating from a group that does not care about Muslim sentiments.” He termed it as aggression against Muslims all over the world, taking into account that Makkah is the cradle of the revelation of Islam and the direction of the daily prayers.
Madani said that he is in consultation with other members of the executive committee to hold a meeting to discuss this dangerous act.
The Imams Council in Spain underlined that the attempt “is a terrorist act in order to achieve Safavid designs in the region.” It asserted that the whole Islamic nation stands by the government and people of Saudi Arabia.
The European Islamic Conference said such a terrorist act is a pre-planned machination to realize the Persian Safavid enterprise in the region, that begins with destruction of the Two Holy Mosques.
Darul Ifta of the Philippines said that Muslims in the Philippines stand by the Kingdom in combating the Houthi militias.
The Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the attack “a criminal act which is a provocation for world Muslims and an attempt to destabilize the security and stability in the Kingdom.”
Morocco fully stands by Saudi Arabia in combating any attempt aiming to target its peace and sovereignty, it said.
Lebanon’s Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Latif Derian said the attack is an act against the symbols of Islam. He termed it “an indescribable crime and an assault on the sanctity of the holy places.”