(Asian News Hub) – In a major development, the Saudi Ministry of Defence has said that women in Saudi Arabia can now take up arms and join the military. Saudi women can join the Saudi Arabian Army, Royal Saudi Air Defence, Royal Saudi Navy, Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force, and Armed Forces Medical Services, Gulf News reported.
The move comes under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 initiative, introducing reforms allowing Saudi women to advance in various fields. Now, women will be able to do jobs that were previously limited to men only.
The plan to allow women into the military was first announced in 2019, the same year when the Saudi kingdom said it would allow women to leave the country without permission from a male relative.
The Saudi Ministry of Defence announced that men and women in the kingdom can now apply for positions in the military through their unified admission portal. According to the ministry, Saudi women would be recruited as soldiers, lance corporals, corporals, sergeants, and staff sergeants.
To join the armed forces, a woman must be between the age of 21 and 40, be 155 centimetres tall or above, and cannot be a government employee.
A Saudi woman must also hold an independent national identity card, have at least a high school education, and cannot be married to a non-Saudi, reported Gulf news.
For male citizens wanting to join the armed forces, they must be between the ages of 17 and 40 and be a minimum of 160 centimetres tall.
Powerfull Iranian cleric Abbas-Ali Soleimani assassinated
A powerful Iranian cleric, a member of the Assembly of Experts that selects the country’s supreme leader, has been assassinated, state media said Wednesday.
“Ayatollah Abbas Ali Soleimani was killed this morning in an armed attack… the assailant was also arrested,” IRNA news agency reported, citing an official.
The attack took place in the city of Babolsar in the northern province of Mazandaran, the agency added.
Soleimani, 75, was previously the representative of the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
He had also been the imam who led the weekly Friday prayers in the cities of Kashan, in central Isfahan province, and Zahedan in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.
Under the constitution, the 88-strong Assembly of Experts is mandated with supervising, dismissing and electing the Supreme Leader.
Last April, a suspected jihadist attack in the northeastern shrine city of Mashhad led to the deaths of two clerics and the injury of another. (AFP)
Eid could begin Saturday as Shawwal moon will not be visible Thursday: Astronomers
Eid al-Fitr could begin on Saturday as the Shawwal moon is expected to be visible by the naked eye on Friday evening and not Thursday, according to astronomers in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Al Arabiya reported.
Technically, the moon will appear in the sky on Thursday evening, but it will not be illuminated by the sun’s rays and will be difficult to see without specialist equipment, Majid Abu Zahra from the Jeddah Astronomical Society said.
The moon will be “very easy to see with the naked eye if the sky is clear,” on Friday night, Abu Zahra added, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
However, officials could still declare Friday as the start of Eid if eyewitness sightings of the moon on Thursday are accepted.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court had previously called on people in the Kingdom to try to spot the moon signifying the end of Ramadan on Thursday evening.
Earthquake jolts southern Iran
A 5.0 magnitude earthquake hit Hormuzgan Province in southern Iran on Saturday 19:27 pm local time, Islamic Republic News Agency reported.
According to the Iranian Seismological Center, the earthquake happened at the depth of 11 km.
There was no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
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