Saudi Arabia air defense units intercept ballistic missile fired by Houthi militia on Najran

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The Patriot missile system is a high-velocity interceptor that defends against incoming threats including tactical ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and aircraft. (Courtesy of Lockheed Martin)
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Components of the rocket shot down by Saudi Royal Air Force units near Najran. (AN Photo)
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Components of the rocket shot down by Saudi Royal Air Force units near Najran. (AN Photo)
Updated 12 January 2018
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Saudi Arabia air defense units intercept ballistic missile fired by Houthi militia on Najran

LONDON: Royal Saudi Arabia Air Defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern province of Najran, bordering Yemen, on Thursday.
Yemen's Shiite rebels say they fired the missile targeting a special forces camp and a facility for helicopter gunships in the Saudi border province of Najran.
The media arm of the rebels, known as the Houthis, said Thursday's projectile was a Qaher 2-M ballistic missile.
The Saudi-led coalition spokesperson Colonel Al-Maliki confirmed that the missile had been fired in the direction of the city of Najran and was deliberately launched to target civilian and populated areas, before being intercepted. Al-Maliki also stated that there had been no loss of life or casualties in the incident.
It is the latest act of aggression on the border. Last month, Houthi militias fired a ballistic missile at Riyadh, targeting Al-Yamamah Royal Palace in the Saudi capital.
While in November, militias launched a missile targeting King Khalid International Airport. 
Saudi air defense intercepted the missile and shot it down without causing any damage.
Houthi aggression toward Saudi Arabia has increased in recent months and has caused a global outcry with a number of countries and organizations condemning the launch of ballistic missiles targeting the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Houthi militias have threatened to cut off Red Sea shipping routes, with Yemeni minister Abdul-Raqib Fat’h calling it a “flagrant” challenge to the rule of law.
Saudi-led coalition forces and their Yemeni allies last year regained control of several strategic ports, waging an assault against the Houthis. The Saudi Navy has also engaged in numerous mine-sweeping missions on Yemeni shores, amid warnings over explosives planted by the militias.


Turkey frees prominent opposition lawmaker Berberoglu

Turkish lawmaker Enis Berberoglu was accused of leaking footage to opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper suggesting Turkey had smuggled arms to Islamic rebels in Syria. (Reuters)
Updated 19 min 51 sec ago
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Turkey frees prominent opposition lawmaker Berberoglu

  • Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey’s pro-secular Republican People’s Party, or CHP, welcomed the release of Berberoglu
  • Kilicdaroglu led a 450-kilometer (280-mile) march from Ankara to the prison where Berberoglu was jailed

ISTANBUL: A Turkish court on Thursday released a prominent lawmaker from the main opposition party who had been sentenced to more than five years in prison for revealing state secrets and espionage.
State-run news agency Anadolu said Thursday the sentence of Enis Berberoglu, re-elected in June, has been suspended for as long as he remains a lawmaker.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey’s pro-secular Republican People’s Party, or CHP, welcomed the release of Berberoglu, tweeting: “We will continue to chase justice for everyone.”
Berberoglu met his family and CHP members, including Kilicdaroglu, after his release from an Istanbul prison, Turkey’s private Demiroren news agency reported.
Berberoglu, a 62 year-old former journalist, was initially sentenced to 25 years in prison in June 2017 for allegedly leaking footage to opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper suggesting Turkey had smuggled arms to Islamic rebels in Syria. In February, the sentence was reduced to five years and 10 months.
In July 2017, Kilicdaroglu led a 450-kilometer (280-mile) march from Ankara to the prison where Berberoglu was jailed to protest the government’s crackdown following an attempted coup.
Turkey has arrested more than 50,000 people since the failed coup and fired at least 110,000 others from government jobs. The crackdown was initially launched to deal with alleged coup-plotters, but critics say it has expanded to include other government opponents, such as academics, journalists and legislators.