Saudi air defense forces shoot down Houthi ballistic missile over Najran

Houthi militia gather in Sanaa, Yemen, during a festival. (AP file photo)
Updated 07 April 2018

Saudi air defense forces shoot down Houthi ballistic missile over Najran

  • The missile attack on Saudi Arabia was the third in April
  • Saudi-led Coalition forces have asked the UN to condemn the Houthi missile attacks on civilian areas

Jeddah: Saudi  air defense forces have intercepted and destroyed a Houthi militia-launched ballistic missile heading toward Najran, the Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Saturday.
Col. Turki Al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said in a statement that at 09:32 on Friday evening, Coalition air defense forces have monitored that a ballistic missile was launched from Saada, inside Yemen, toward the southern city of Najran 
It was subsequently shot down by the Kingdom's Patriot missile defense system before it could hit land. The splinters of the missile scattered on residential neighborhoods, but there were no reports immediate reports of injuries or damage to property, he said.
The attack was just the latest on Saudi Arabia by the Iran-backed Houthis.
On March 25, the militia launched seven missiles toward Riyadh and other Saudi cities, all of which were shot down by air defense forces. Officials have said an Egyptian driver was killed by falling debris from an intercepted missile.
On April 2, Houthi militias fired a ballistic missile toward civilian areas in the border town of Dhahran Al-Janoub in Jazan province, close to the southern border with Yemen. Al-Maliki said the missile fell on wasteland in Yemen two kilometers from the Saudi border.
On April 3, Houthis attacked a Saudi oil tankers in international waters west of the port of Hodeidah, but the attempted attack was foiled after a quick intervention by one of the alliance’s naval vessels.
“The tanker suffered a minor injury but completed its navigational line and sailed north accompanied by one of the naval coalition ships,” Al-Maliki had said.
Houthi militia forces again launched a missile toward Jazan province on Wednesday at 9:31 p.m., but caused no casualties or damage.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 58 min 22 sec ago

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”