Arab coalition: Raid on Houthi missile launch site in Yemen complies with international law

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The missile exploded in the air, causing debris to fall onto residential areas, killing a Yemeni resident and injuring 11 others. (SPA)
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The missile exploded in the air, causing debris to fall onto residential areas, killing a Yemeni resident and injuring 11 others. (SPA)
Updated 09 August 2018
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Arab coalition: Raid on Houthi missile launch site in Yemen complies with international law

  • One civilian was killed in the initial attack when the Houthi missile was shot down
  • Saudi coalition said it targeted Houthis in a legitimate attempt to protect civilians

JEDDAH: Airstrikes on a site in Yemen used by militants to launch missiles toward Saudi Arabia were “legitimate,” the Arab coalition said Thursday, as it was confirmed that a number of Houthi field commanders had been killed.

The Saudi-led coalition said air raids on Saada in northwestern Yemen, a stronghold of the Iran-backed Houthis, complied with international humanitarian laws.

Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Malki said the military action was targeted at militants who planned an attack with the aim of harming civilians, by attempting to launch a missile toward Jazan in southern Saudi Arabia.

“The targeting on Thursday in the province of Saada is a legitimate military operation to target elements that planned and executed the targeting of civilians last night in the city of Jazan,” he said. 

“(The operation) was carried in accordance to international humanitarian law and customary rules, and the coalition will take all procedures against the criminal and terror acts by the terrorist Houthi militia affiliated with Iran.”

The attempted Houthi missile attack, intercepted by Saudi Royal Air Defense forces, killed one civilian and injured 11 others in Yemen on Wednesday evening, Saudi state news agency SPA and the coalition said.

Al-Maliki said the missile was fired toward Jazan “in a deliberate way to target residential and populated areas,” and explicitly violating international humanitarian law.

Late on Thursday, another ballistic missile fell inside Yemen after the Houthis attempted to launch it towards Najran.

The Houthis have launched a series of missile strikes on Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh, over the past year.

The spokesman said the Western-backed Arab coalition would continue to take all measures to maintain regional and international security.

A coalition source quoted by the Al Arabiya News Channel said that a number of Houthi field commanders were killed in a raid on Thursday morning. 

They included prominent recruiters of young people in Yemen to fight on behalf of the Houthis. The Iran-backed militia have a history of recruiting child soldiers.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies entered the war in Yemen in 2015 against the Houthis, who drove the internationally recognized government into exile in 2014.


Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

Saudi Arabia is expected to become a significant box office market. (AFP)
Updated 1 min 20 sec ago
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Big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be billion-dollar industry by 2030

  • Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion)

DUBAI: The big-screen business in Saudi Arabia will be a billion-dollar industry by 2030, according to experts, as regional and global movie operators queue up for a ticket into the Kingdom’s hugely profitable movie market.
Saudi Arabia is expected to amass the largest share of the cinema business in the Arabian Gulf region by 2030, with hundred of cinemas and thousands of screens set to open across the Kingdom over the next 12 years.
Within months of Saudi Arabia formally ending a 35-year-long ban on cinemas, three cinema operation licenses were awarded to operate in the Kingdom, the first was to AMC Theaters, an American chain owned and operated by Wanda Group. It opened the Kingdom’s first modern cinema on April 18 and plans to open around 40 cinemas in 15 cities in Saudi Arabia over the next five years, and between 50 to 100 cinemas in about 25 cities by 2030.
Shortly after, the second license was awarded to VOX Cinemas, now one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest movie operators. It plans to open 600 screens in Saudi Arabia in the next five years, the same number of screens as the company’s regional footprint combined.
In July, it was announced the the third license had been awarded to the Al-Rashed United Group — Empire Cinema — which plans to build 30 theaters in the country over the next three years. And last month, a fourth license was awarded to Lux Entertainment Co., which plans to open 300 cinemas across the Kingdom within five years.
VOX, which plans to open 80 new screens over the next 12 months, says the Kingdom will form half of its overall revenues in the Middle East over the next five years.
“Saudi has huge opportunities and is expected to become a significant box office market worth $1 billion (SR3.75 billion),” said Cameron Mitchell, CEO of Majid Al-Futtaim Cinemas, of which VOX Cinemas is a subsidiary.
He said the Kingdom’s box-office market is expected to become “one of the largest” in the world, with a majority of its 32-million population under the age of 30. “The market is massive and full of opportunities as the population is young and enthusiastic about cinema.”
Will Saudi Arabia ever host the world premiere of a Hollywood movie? No one’s saying right now, but with such a covetable box-office market, it may only be a matter of time.