Grand Mufti Decrees: Saudis Fighting Yemen Needn’t Fast

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DUBAI: Amid Saudi Arabia’s continued aggression on Yemen, the kingdom’s Grand Mufti exempts Saudi soldiers, stationed on the border with the southern neighbor, from observing regular fasting.

Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Al ash-Sheikh sanctioned that the soldiers break their fast during their “Jihad” against the “enemy,” Lebanese broadcaster Al-Manar reported on its website on Friday, citing the Saudi daily, Okaz.

“I felicitate you on the blessed month of Ramadan as you are stationed on the battlefield,” the top religious figure said in remarks addressed to the troopers.

The Wahhabi figure has gained notoriety for his various controversial and radical decrees, including his reported decree in 2007 for the demolition of the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and an edict five later for the destruction of all the churches across the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia started the military campaign against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in an attempt to weaken the Houthi Ansarullah movement and bring the fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is a staunch ally of the Al Saud regime, back to power.

UN Human Rights spokesman Rupert Colville said on June 16 that at least 1,412 Yemeni civilians, including 210 women, had been killed and a further 3,423 injured since that date.

According to the Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network, in their latest attacks, Saudi fighter jets have used cluster bombs against Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah.

The network said that late on Thursday, Saudi warplanes dropped cluster munitions on populated areas in the al-Mazraq district of the province, located about 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of the capital, Sana’a.

In a report published on May 31, New York-based Human Rights Watch said evidence showed Saudi Arabia had been pounding Yemen with internationally banned cluster bombs, warning that such attacks are “harming civilians.”

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