Sanaa TV revels as Houthi militants fire ballistic missile, but Saudis swat it down

Plenty of Iran-made Badr missiles had been fired by Houthi militants into Saudi Arabia, but most of them had been shot down. (Reuters file photo)
Updated 16 September 2018
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Sanaa TV revels as Houthi militants fire ballistic missile, but Saudis swat it down

  • The Houthis’ Al-Masirah TV station itself confirmed that the missile launch was meant to hit a populated area
  • Al-Maliki accused the Houthis of deliberately targeting civilian and populated areas in the Kingdom

JEDDAH: Houthi militants fired a ballistic missile toward Saudi Arabia early Saturday night, but Saudi air defenses shot it down before it could do any damage, a spokesman for coalition forces supporting Yemen’s legitimate government said.

Colonel Turki al-Maliki said the Saudi Air Defense Force spotted the missile being being launched at 7:15 p.m. (local time) from the Yemeni governorate of Saada toward the southern Saudi city of Jazan and intercepted it.

Al-Maliki accused the Houthis of deliberately targeting civilian and populated areas in the Kingdom, in willful violation of international law.

"This hostile act by the Houthi terrorist militia of Iran proves the continued involvement of the Iranian regime in supporting the Houthi armed militias in clear defiance of the UN resolutions issued in this regard and a threat to the security of Saudi Arabia and regional and international security. The launching of ballistic missiles towards towns and villages In the population is contrary to international humanitarian law,” he said in a statement.

The Houthis’ Al-Masirah TV station itself confirmed that the missile launch was meant to hit a populated area, according to a Reuters report.

“The (Houthi) rocket force fired a Badr ballistic missile at the Industrial City of Jizan,” Al-Masirah said, without saying when the attack took place. 

The Iran-aligned Houthis regularly announce they have fired missiles over the Saudi-Yemeni border into Jizan province in an effort to hit important facilities, including an oil refinery operated by Saudi Aramco. Most of the missiles are intercepted by Saudi Air Defence Forces, using the US-supplied Patriot missile system.

The Houthis say their missile attacks are in retaliation for air raids on Yemen by the Western-backed coalition, which entered Yemen’s war in 2015 to try to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Hadi was ousted from the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in 2015.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have accused Iran of arming the Houthis as part of the Tehran regime’s regionwide destabilization program in furtherance of its hegemonistic ideology.

The coalition, along with its Western allies, have shown proof of Iran’s support for the Houthis, including its supply of ballistic missiles. 

Militants from the Iran-aligned Hezbollah of Lebanon, labelled as a “terrorist” group by the coalition and the US, have also been killed in battles with Yemeni government forces in the past months.


Hollywood star Cuba Gooding Jr. shares career at Saudi Film Festival

Updated 26 March 2019
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Hollywood star Cuba Gooding Jr. shares career at Saudi Film Festival

  • He said he hopes to support Saudi filmmakers through his recently launched production company
  • The festival, at Ithra, is part of the Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province

DHAHRAN: Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. talked about his experiences in Hollywood, and the challenges he has faced during his career, when he appeared on Monday night at the fifth Saudi Film Festival, which is part of the Sharqiah Season in the Eastern Province.
Known for his roles in movies such as “Men of Honor”, “A Few Good Men” and “American Crime Story,” among others, he has appeared in more than 85 films during a 30-year career on screen and stage. He won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in the 1996 film “Jerry Maguire,” alongside Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger.
Gooding Jr. arrived for the event, at the King Abdul Aziz World Center for Culture (Ithra), accompanied by Claudine De Niro, the estranged wife of actor Robert De Niro’s son, Raphael. They were greeted by renowned Saudi film producer and Hollywood businessman Mohammed Al-Turki.
Gooding Jr. spoke to the audience at Ithra for almost 60 minutes about his long career and the challenges and pitfalls he had experienced on the road to success in the film industry. He also offered some advice to anyone interested in following in his footsteps.
“No one prepares you for success,” he said. “That’s why you see a lot of actors that star in movies, then disappear. Or you see athletes that make a $100 million and then they disappear, too. They weren’t ready for it.
“You have to envision yourself standing on that stage, holding an Oscar over your head, saying, ‘This is for the Middle-East’. You have to envision the script that you will write and envision being on that stage, holding that Oscar.
“People asked me after I won that Academy Award if I ever thought I would be on that stage. I always said, ‘Not in a million years.’ But that’s a lie. You have to envision yourself on that stage, winning that award, so that when you succeed it will feel normal, not like it’s something special, so that you can do it again.”
The actor also said that he intends to support filmmakers from Saudi Arabia and other countries through his recently launched production company.
Asked if he had any projects planned in the region, and Saudi Arabia in particular, he said: “I do, actually. I have a couple of things. I don’t want to give it away but let’s just say that there is a lot of great literature that I’ve read, a lot of different books, including Arabian Nights. It’s hard to talk about the things in development because you don’t want to give it away but there is definitely something in development.”