Panel formed to expedite relief work in Yemen
Asiri denied any delays in allowing the Red Cross to carry out humanitarian work
The coalition forces command on Saturday formed a committee to expedite and organize the process for humanitarian work in Yemen through recognized humanitarian organizations, announced Brig. Gen Ahmad Al-Asiri, spokesman of the coalition forces and adviser at the office of the minister of defense.
Addressing the media here on Saturday, Asiri said that coalition forces were carrying out humanitarian and evacuation work, and opening the way for humanitarian organizations to coordinate with pertinent authorities to provide assistance to the needy.
The spokesman denied any delays in allowing the Red Cross to carry out humanitarian work.
The Red Cross flights are scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday), he said, adding that the Red Cross changed its method for handing over the shipments as well as its flight take-off locations.
Asiri said relief supplies should reach the needy and not the terrorists.
He said humanitarian aspect is one of the most important responsibilities of the coalition forces. The coalition command from the very first day asked all authorities to contact working teams and official authorities in Saudi Arabia and alliance countries to facilitate the procedure for evacuation and relief work, Asiri said.
He said several countries such as Russia, India, Pakistan, Algeria, Indonesia have evacuated their citizens. Other countries will start evacuating their citizens on Sunday.
Asiri stressed the need for coordination with the coalition forces in the evacuation process because many Houthi militia commanders were trying to escape disguised as citizens of the evacuating countries.
He said the Houthis tried to dig trenches and build tunnels near the Saudi border belt, but these were destroyed by the ground forces and Apache helicopters.
Asiri said that exchange of gunfire on southern Saudi border caused the martyrdom of two Saudi border guards on Friday. The ground forces repulsed the attack.
He said the coalition forces continued their airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen and artillery fires near Saudi borders for the 10th consecutive day.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on April 5th, 2015.