Saudi troops intercept Scud fired from Yemen

Updated 07 June 2015
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Saudi troops intercept Scud fired from Yemen

ARAB NEWS
JEDDAH: Saudi troops shot down a Scud missile fired into the kingdom before dawn Saturday from Yemen, the coalition command said.
Troops used a Patriot missile battery to intercept the missile at 2:45 a.m. Saturday (2345 GMT) over Abha province, said the command in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
No casualties were reported in the attack, which followed a ground offensive by Yemeni militants targeting the Saudi border,
“At 02:45 am on Saturday, the militias of the Houthis and ousted Ali Abdullah Saleh fired a Scud missile toward the city of Khamis Mushayt. Thanks to Allah, it was intercepted by the Royal Saudi Defense Forces by two Patriot missiles,” the statement said.
It added that coalition air forces destroyed the rocket launcher whose location was identified south of Sa'ada.
Saudis on social media reported hearing air raid sirens go off around the city during the attack.
Saudi Arabia leads a coalition targeting Houthi and other rebels in airstrikes that began March 26 in support of the country’s exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Those strikes have targeted arms cache and other Scud missile sites around the country.
The Houthis began their advance in September, sweeping into the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and taking over government ministries and other areas. They held top officials, including Hadi, under house arrest until Hadi fled, first to the southern port city of Aden, then to Saudi Arabia as the rebels closed in backed by forces loyal to Saleh.
On Friday, the Houthis and Saleh’s forces launched a ground offensive targeting the Saudi border, which saw the kingdom fire artillery and launch Apache attack helicopters, said an the SPA report. It said “scores” of rebel forces being killed in a battle that lasted from dawn to noon Friday, with four Saudi soldiers killed in the fighting.
The Saudis and Western powers accuse the Houthis of receiving military support from Shiite power Iran, which is being accused of trying to dominate the Middle East. Tehran and the rebels deny the allegations, though Iran has acknowledged sending humanitarian aid to the Houthis.

(Additional input from AP)


Peace, security and economy top agenda of Saudi Shoura session

The current Shoura Council is composed of 150 members including 30 women members. (SPA)
Updated 2 min 49 sec ago
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Peace, security and economy top agenda of Saudi Shoura session

  • Al-Khunaizi said that King Salman’s speech will have “added political and economic significance, and it will lay out the agenda for the rest of the Shoura’s term”

RIYADH: King Salman on Monday will deliver his inaugural address at the Shoura Council, where he will talk about a range of local and regional issues and urge lawmakers to support the government in taking the country forward.
The king’s speech, which will serve as a guideline for Shoura members, will begin the deliberations of the new parliamentary year of the 150-member council.
“The king’s visit to the Shoura is of utmost importance, and his speech will define domestic, regional and foreign policies,” said Hoda Al-Helaissi, a member of the Shoura Council here on Wednesday.
“With the visit of King Salman to the Shoura Council to mark the beginning of the third year of the seventh term, we take a moment to reflect on the past year,” Al-Helaissi said.
She said that “the past year has been a year of challenges and opportunities both within the Kingdom and abroad.”
“Remarkably, as is in our nature, and as exemplified by our leadership, we have remained steadfast in our values and beliefs, committed as a country to the well-being of our citizens, not least as explained in what has now become known as Saudi Arabia’s road-map for the future, Vision 2030,” Al-Helaissi said.
“As the home of the Two Holy Mosques and as an important strategic player in the region, Saudi Arabia has an important role in global politics and we look forward to hearing the king’s speech this coming Monday,” Al-Helaissi said.
Guidelines for addressing local and regional challenges with a special reference to domestic and foreign policies will be spelled out by King Salman, she said.
“Elaborate preparations have been made to receive the king on this occasion,” said Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, another member of the Shoura Council. Al-Khunaizi said that King Salman’s speech will have “added political and economic significance, and it will lay out the agenda for the rest of the Shoura’s term.”
“The occasion marks the beginning of the new year for the council,” said Al-Khunaizi, while forecasting a number of proposals, decisions, draft legislation, treaties and foreign policy matters to be discussed and debated in 2019.
He said that the king’s speech may touch on subjects such as society, security, peace, stability, extremism, economy, financial reforms, regional challenges and foreign policy matters.
Al-Khunaizi noted that the role of women members of the Shoura Council had lent new dimension to the debate and deliberations of the council. He said that the current Shoura Council is composed of 150 members including 30 women members.