Houthis launch missile after Saudi-led coalition warns of ‘painful’ response; attack thwarted

Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman of the Saudi-led Coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, presents pictures of unmanned Iranian aircraft being used by the rebels to attack Saudi Arabia. (AN Photo: Essa Al-Doubisi, Bashear Saleh)
Updated 17 April 2018
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Houthis launch missile after Saudi-led coalition warns of ‘painful’ response; attack thwarted

  • Coalition says Houthis have launched 119 ballistic missiles targeted at Saudi Arabia
  • Latest missile attack shot down over Najran

JEDDAH: Saudi air defenses shot down a ballistic missile fired by Houthis toward Saudi Arabia on Monday night, the Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi rebels said on Tuesday.
Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, the coalition's spokesman, said the missile was monitored by the Saudi Air Force to have been launched from Yemen's Amran province at 10:16 p.m. Monday toward populated areas in the southern Saudi province of Najran.
The missile was intercepted before it could hit its target, Al-Maliki said.
The incident happened hours after the coalition warned of a “painful” response if the Houthis mounted new attacks on Saudi Arabia using what it said were Iran-supplied drones.
Saudi forces said they have shot down two drones in the south of the kingdom and intercepted ballistic missiles fired from rebel-held parts of Yemen, the latest in a series of similar incidents.
“If the Houthis continue targeting industrial or residential facilities, the response will be hard and painful,” said Al-Maliki, displaying remnants of the intercepted aircraft.
He said the Houthis have launched 119 ballistic missiles targeted at Saudi Arabia.
Al-Malki told reporters in the eastern city of Alkhobar that the airport of Yemen's rebel-held capital, Sanaa, was used as a military base to orchestrate the drone strike.
The Yemeni government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi last week said the drones were “made in Iran,” adding that Yemen’s military did not possess such aircraft and it was “impossible to manufacture them locally.”
Iran backs the Houthis, who seized Sanaa in 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military coalition to intervene against the rebels the following year.
Tehran has repeatedly denied arming the rebels, which would violate a United Nations weapons embargo slapped on Yemen in 2015.
Nearly 10,000 people have since been killed in Yemen’s conflict, in what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. 

(With AFP)


Green light for crown prince-led Saudi privatization program

Updated 25 April 2018
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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.