Arab coalition targets six Houthi air defense, ballistic missile sites in Sanaa

Cars are parked outside the Abha airport in the southern Saudi Arabian popular mountain resort of the same name, on July 2, 2019. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 July 2019

Arab coalition targets six Houthi air defense, ballistic missile sites in Sanaa

  • The Iranian-backed militia remained futile in their attempts to target the civilian areas as well as the civilian population
  • The Arab coalition command would take strict measures to paralyze and neutralize all hostile capabilities of the militia

RIYADH: The Arab coalition supporting Yemen’s legitimate government confirmed on early Saturday morning that it had carried out an operation to destroy five air defense sites and ballistic missile depots in the Yemeni province of Sanaa, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said that the targeting process is an extension of past military operations carried out by the Arab coalition to identify and  destroy air defense capabilities and other hostile capabilities of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias.

Al-Maliki said that the coalition forces were committed to preventing the Houthi militia, as well as other terrorist organizations, from obtaining such capabilities, which represent a direct threat to civilians, UN aircraft and air navigation.

Al-Maliki said that the targeting process was consistent with international humanitarian law and its customary laws, and that the leadership of the coalition forces had taken all preventive procedures and measures to protect civilians.


TIMELINE

• July 20: The coalition forces intercepted a drone directed toward Abha.

• July 17: The forces intercepted a drone launched toward Jazan.

• July 16: The forces shot down three drones that were heading for southern Saudi Arabia and the cities of Jazan and Abha. 

• July 15: The forces intercepted two drones launched toward civilian targets in southern Saudi Arabia.

• June 23: An attack on Abha airport killed a Syrian national and wounded 21 other civilians.

• June 12: A missile attack on Abha airport wounded 26 civilians.

• July 2: Another attack on the Abha airport left nine civilians wounded.


Also on Saturday, the coalition forces intercepted and shot down a drone launched by the Houthi militia in Amran governorate and directed toward Abha.

Al-Maliki said that the Iranian-backed militia remained futile in their attempts to target civilian areas.

The coalition will take strict measures to paralyze and neutralize all hostile capabilities of the militia within international humanitarian law, he said.

Repeated Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia have been reported since the Kingdom led a coalition intervention in March 2015 to restore the UN-backed Yemeni government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which the militia had ousted.


Saudi Arabia, UAE form joint panel to enforce Yemen cease-fire

Updated 26 August 2019

Saudi Arabia, UAE form joint panel to enforce Yemen cease-fire

  • The panel is tasked to ensure that all the ceasefire procedures are followed

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had formed a joint panel to help enforce a cease-fire between government and separatist forces in the Yemeni provinces of Shabwah and Abyan, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Monday.

Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman of the coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government, said the panel is tasked to ensure that all the ceasefire procedures are followed.

A joint statement issued early Monday by the Saudi and UAE foreign ministries stressed the urgency of enforcing a cease-fire and for the return of the civilian headquarters in Aden to the legitimate government under the supervision of coalition forces.

"The governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in line with their responsibility to support the legitimacy of Yemen in order to save Yemen and its people from the coup of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, emphasize the continuation of all their political, military, relief and development efforts with the participation of the coalition countries that rose to support the Yemeni people," the statement said.

The separatist forces of the so-called Southern Transitional Council (STC) declared last month that it was breaking away from the UN-recognized legitimate government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which is based in the southern city of Aden.

The Hadi government made Aden its temporary capital in 2015 after being pushed out of the capital, Sanaa, jointly by the Houthi militia and forces of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh. 

The Hadi government was restored to power by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition and together with the STC forces they fought the combined forces of Saleh and the Houthis. The Houthis and Saleh's forces eventually fought each other, culminating in the killing of Saleh in December 2017.

Last month, STC forces seized key government installations and military camps in Aden as well as in Shabwa and Abyan.

The STC partially withdrew last week from key sites it occupied in Aden under pressure from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but it retains control of key military sites. The STC has since driven government troops out of two military camps in Abyan province.

On Saturday, government troops took control of the city of Ataq, capital of Shabwa province, after two days heavy fighting with the separatists.