Saudi forces intercept new Houthi attack

Updated 12 April 2018
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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.


Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

We should have been clearer in our communication and engagement, said Maas. (AFP)
Updated 37 min 16 sec ago
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Germany, Saudi Arabia agree to turn page after diplomatic row

  • The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity
  • We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics: Maas

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday welcomed a statement by the German foreign minister pledging his intention to work toward strengthening ties and enhancing cooperation between the two countries. 

Riyadh said the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Germany was a “historic and important” one, and the countries played a leading role in bolstering international security and stability, and the global economy. 

The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adel Al-Jubeir, extended an invitation to his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, to visit the Kingdom at the earliest opportunity, “so that both countries may begin a new phase of close cooperation in all areas to the benefit of both our countries and peoples.”

Earlier, the German foreign minister said relations had “witnessed misunderstandings” in recent months “which stand in sharp contrast to our otherwise strong and strategic ties. We sincerely regret this.”

The minister said: “We should have been clearer in our communications and engagement in order to avoid such misunderstandings.

“We aim for close cooperation between our two countries and to this end seek to intensify our dialogue on a broad range of topics.

“Saudi Arabia plays an immensely important role for peace and stability in the region and the world. As there is a broad range of bilateral and international issues to discuss, we will do our best to make this partnership with the Kingdom even stronger than before.

“Considering our role in Europe and the world, improving our ties with Saudi Arabia will serve the interest of both nations and peoples.”