In the rich, transcendent city of Riyadh, shrapnel from a missile fired by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels on Sunday night killed an Egyptian resident and injured other civilians.
The criminal timing of the launch of the missile while Prince Mohammed bin Salman is on a tour in the United States. The Royal Air Defense Forces intercepted all seven missiles fired towards the kingdom – an act praised by the Saudi cabinet’s Tuesday session which was chaired by King Salman.
It is no surprise that this terrorist organization launched these missiles with the aim of causing panic. This is what terror organizations such as Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, ISIS, al-Nusra Front and the Houthi Movement have in common. These groups’ main aim is to target the modern features of city life and take the world back to the dark ages.
Saudi Arabia is a 300-year-old country that has fought dozens of wars. It has extensive military experience and has confronted several regimes and major powers. The storm following the Riyadh rocket incident is in our favorFahad Suleiman Shoqiran
After these missiles were intercepted, a close neighbor celebrated this criminal event against Saudi Arabia via its media outlets. The Qatari regime employed all its media platforms to celebrate and rejoice the missile attack. Some media outlets even stated that Riyadh was struck by an earthquake following the explosion, and that its streets wore a deserted look.
The truth is that it was just another ordinary day for the bustling city of Riyadh and its seven million inhabitants. Dozens of videos taken by citizens showed that life was normal in the city on the same day, and that this rocket made no impact whatsoever except on social media networks.
What’s more important than the firing of the weak missiles is analyzing the incident from a political and security angle. The missiles were made by Iran, and countries must investigate how Houthis attained them.
The British have already raised this rightful demand. As the date for determining the fate of the nuclear deal by the US approaches in May, Iran is trying to attract the world’s attention in any way possible. It is eager to trigger a war to internally stabilize the regime after protests erupted against it and after the society’s criticism of the regime escalated.
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It is important to confront Iran through political means and to enhance the presence of Iranian opposition groups regionally and internationally while economically isolating the regime.
Such a response would send shockwaves within Iran. However, engaging in a military confrontation will not be useful. We must fight it politically and diplomatically and we will accomplish this especially with the rise of parties that Saudi Arabia has always been able to cooperate with, notably within the United States and Britain.
The sham terror list
We also must take into account the Qatari regime and its political and media practices by preparing real, effective sanctions that would affect the regime’s core. If the festivity over the attack on Saudi Arabia was issued by a country that’s bigger and more significant than Qatar, we would have considered it a declaration of war.
As such, supporting the boycott and prolonging it, seeking greater and more stringent methods, confronting it with media and politics, and exposing its terrorism internationally is essential. We must never tire of exposing Qatar's schemes and conspiracies in order to caution the world of its devious designs, especially its support of terrorist organizations such as Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, al-Qaeda, the Houthis and the Muslim Brotherhood.
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The terror list which Qatar issued aims to ease its international discomfort especially that when US President Trump met his great guest, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he said that “the United States would sever its relations with countries that support terrorism.”
A simple reason why the Qatari terror list is a trick is that one of those listed, Mubarak al- Alajji, recently participated in an official sports championship in Doha, and was honored with a prize after his victory. This has been reported by Al Arabiya news channel and its website in great detail.
Saudi Arabia is a 300-year-old country that has fought dozens of wars. It has extensive military experience and has confronted several regimes and major powers. The storm following the Riyadh rocket incident is in our favor. We now have the right to discipline the criminals involved in this incident and to decisively and firmly deal with them to protect the region and the world from their evil designs. “But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.”
This article is also available in Arabic.
Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group. His writings have appeared in pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Alarabiya.net, among others. He also blogs on philosophies, cultures and arts. He tweets @shoqiran.