Iranian-made Houthi drone intercepted over Saudi Arabia

Al-Maliki said that after specialists examined the debris of the device, it was found to be a Houthi drone with Iranian specifications, like this example from a file AFP photo. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 30 January 2019
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Iranian-made Houthi drone intercepted over Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Royal Air Force's defense system caught the drone
  • Device was found to be a Houthi drone built using Iranian specifications

RIYADH: Arab coalition forces on Wednesday intercepted and destroyed an Iranian-made drone used by Houthis over Abha in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Royal Air Force's defense system caught the drone, which was heading for the southern city, spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said Wednesday. 

After specialists examined the debris of the device, it was found to be a Houthi drone built using Iranian specifications.

Al-Maliki warned the Iranian-backed Houthi militia "in the strongest terms" against targeting civilians and civilian targets. He added that the coalition would take any measures in accordance with international humanitarian law to deter their threat.

This latest interception comes after a drone attack earlier this month on a military parade at Al-Anad air base in Yemen's government-held Lahij province killed at least seven people. The dead included high-ranking Yemeni intelligence official Brig. Gen. Saleh Tamah.

In December, the coalition destroyed a drone and its launch pad at Sanaa International Airport. The coalition said the drone was in the preparation stage for its launch before it was destroyed.

The drone interception came on the same day that the Arab coalition freed and returned seven Houthi prisoners back to Yemen.


US imposes new sanctions on Iran over weapons programs

Updated 5 min 6 sec ago
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US imposes new sanctions on Iran over weapons programs

  • Among those designated for sanctions was the Shahid Karimi group, which works on missile and explosive-related projects for the SPND, and four associated individuals
  • The move freezes any US assets of those targeted and bans US dealings with them

WASHINGTON: The United States said on Friday it was imposing sanctions on 14 people and 17 entities connected to Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), a body it said had played a central role in Iran’s past nuclear weapons effort.
Among those designated for sanctions was the Shahid Karimi group, which works on missile and explosive-related projects for the SPND, and four associated individuals, the US Treasury Department said in a Statement.
“The US government is taking decisive action against actors at all levels in connection with Iran’s Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND) who have supported the Iranian regime’s defense sector,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.
“The United States will continue applying maximum pressure to the Iranian regime, using all economic tools to prevent Iran from developing weapons of mass destruction. Anyone considering dealing with the Iranian defense industry in general, and SPND in particular, risks professional, personal, and financial isolation.”
It said the steps targeted current SPND subordinate groups, supporters, front companies, and associated officials. The move freezes any US assets of those targeted and bans US dealings with them.
"Today’s action serves as a warning to individuals and entities considering dealing with the Iranian regime’s defense sector in general, and SPND in particular: by engaging in sanctionable activity with designated Iranian persons, you risk professional, personal, and financial isolation," the Treasury statement said.
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday that Tehran was determined to boost its defense capabilities despite mounting pressure from the United States and its allies to curb its ballistic missile program.