Saudi forces intercept new Houthi attack

Updated 12 April 2018
0

Saudi forces intercept new Houthi attack

  • Coalition spokesman said air-defense units intercepted the missiles
  • Iranian-backed Houthi militia have launched several missiles at Saudi Arabia in recent months

JEDDAH: Saudi air defense forces intercepted a Houthi militant attack on Wednesday with ballistic missiles and drones targeting the capital, Riyadh, the cities of Jazan and Najran, and Abha airport.

The missiles were aimed at Riyadh and the two southern cities. One armed drone targeted Abha airport and a second drone was heading toward a civilian neighborhood in Jazan.

There was a loud explosion and smoke in the sky over Riyadh as Saudi air defenses successfully intercepted and destroyed the missile.

There were no reports of casualties or damage to property. Iranian-backed Houthi militants have launched dozens of missiles in the past year, aimed at Riyadh and southern Saudi cities. 

All have been successfully intercepted and shot down by Saudi air defense forces. However, last month a missile fragment killed an Egyptian expatriate in Riyadh, the first fatality caused by the missile attacks.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting to restore the legitimate government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Yemen has produced evidence that the missiles targeting Saudi Arabia are made in Iran, and the attacks have drawn global condemnation, most recently by the French President Emmanuel Macron this week during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Paris.

A coalition spokesman said on Wednesday that the drones used in the most recent attacks were of a type and specification used by the Iranians.

The Saudi-led coalition warned Houthi militants and those who support them that terrorist attacks targeting civilian areas of the Kingdom would not be tolerated, and the coalition would respond in a decisive way.

Those who equipped the Houthis with drone capabilities would also pay a heavy price, the spokesman said.


Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018
0

Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

  • The Privatization Program is one of 12 key elements of the Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030
  • The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs on Tuesday approved the Privatization Program that is one of 12 key elements of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

The program is aimed at increasing job opportunities for Saudi nationals, attracting the latest technologies and innovations, and supporting economic development.

It encourages both local and foreign investment in order to enhance the role of the private sector, with government entities adopting a regulatory and supervisory role. The aim is to increase the private sector’s contribution to GDP from 40 percent to 65 percent by 2030. 

The program will aim to reach its objectives through encouraging the private sector to invest in establishing new schools, universities and health centers, while the government pursues its organizational and supervisory role in health and education.

The privatization program aims to benefit from previous success stories, with the private sector’s collaboration in the development of infrastructure, and its involvement on a large scale in sectors such as energy, water, transport, telecommunications, petrochemicals and finance.

The program sets out a series of objectives in three areas: Developing a general legal framework for policies related to privatization; establishing organizational foundations and dedicated institutions to execute the policies; and setting a timescale for their delivery. 

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.