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

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)

Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

Updated 20 April 2018

Italy pledges electronic warfare support to Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi-Italian collaboration to develop electronic defense solutions pushed in workshop organized by the Italian Embassy, KACST and Elettronica SpA
  • Italy's Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare equipment

RIYADH: Italy has pledged to support the Kingdom with electronic warfare and defense electronics, offering a range of state-of-the-art solutions to counter threats. 

The call for Saudi-Italian collaboration was made on Thursday at a workshop organized jointly by the Italian Embassy, the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Italian-based Elettronica SpA, a world leader in electronic warfare.

Italian Ambassador to the Kingdom Luca Ferrari welcomed the workshop initiative, and said: “We are working to develop a strategic partnership between our two countries, building on decades of excellent political and economic collaboration.

“Such initiatives increase mutual understanding and knowledge between Italian and Saudi counterparts and foster further opportunities for collaboration.” 

Ferrari added that the workshop is a proof of Italian industries’ and institutes’ willingness to strengthen the relationship between the two countries through working with local high-tech university centers and industries in Saudi Arabia.

He added: “The move on the part of the Italian government and our companies comes within the framework of Saudi Vision 2030, which calls for foreign partnerships to diversify the economy, cut reliance on oil and build a robust Saudi defense sector.”

The workshop, entitled “The Digital Revolution: Impacts on defense electronics, security and life,” looked at electronic warfare, cyber intelligence, the future of autonomous vehicles and implications of the digital revolution for the defense industry. 

Enzo Benigni, Elettronica’s chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Italian institutes and companies are keen to embrace the Saudi Vision 2030, and to support the growth of the defense industry and overall defense sector of the Kingdom. 

“We work in Saudi Arabia to create high-value cooperation with the Saudi armed forces and local partners with an aim to build a world-class defense sector of the Kingdom.”

Benigni said Elettronica specializes in the designing and manufacturing electronic warfare, from single stand-alone equipment to complete integrated systems, for naval, airborne and ground applications as well as for space and homeland security.