Saudi troops intercept Scud fired from Yemen

Updated 07 June 2015

Saudi troops intercept Scud fired from Yemen

JEDDAH: Saudi troops shot down a Scud missile fired into the kingdom before dawn Saturday from Yemen, the coalition command said.
Troops used a Patriot missile battery to intercept the missile at 2:45 a.m. Saturday (2345 GMT) over Abha province, said the command in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
No casualties were reported in the attack, which followed a ground offensive by Yemeni militants targeting the Saudi border,
“At 02:45 am on Saturday, the militias of the Houthis and ousted Ali Abdullah Saleh fired a Scud missile toward the city of Khamis Mushayt. Thanks to Allah, it was intercepted by the Royal Saudi Defense Forces by two Patriot missiles,” the statement said.
It added that coalition air forces destroyed the rocket launcher whose location was identified south of Sa'ada.
Saudis on social media reported hearing air raid sirens go off around the city during the attack.
Saudi Arabia leads a coalition targeting Houthi and other rebels in airstrikes that began March 26 in support of the country’s exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Those strikes have targeted arms cache and other Scud missile sites around the country.
The Houthis began their advance in September, sweeping into the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and taking over government ministries and other areas. They held top officials, including Hadi, under house arrest until Hadi fled, first to the southern port city of Aden, then to Saudi Arabia as the rebels closed in backed by forces loyal to Saleh.
On Friday, the Houthis and Saleh’s forces launched a ground offensive targeting the Saudi border, which saw the kingdom fire artillery and launch Apache attack helicopters, said an the SPA report. It said “scores” of rebel forces being killed in a battle that lasted from dawn to noon Friday, with four Saudi soldiers killed in the fighting.
The Saudis and Western powers accuse the Houthis of receiving military support from Shiite power Iran, which is being accused of trying to dominate the Middle East. Tehran and the rebels deny the allegations, though Iran has acknowledged sending humanitarian aid to the Houthis.

(Additional input from AP)

Startup of the Week: Sepale offers long-lasting blooms

Updated 4 sec ago

Startup of the Week: Sepale offers long-lasting blooms

JEDDAH: Qualified chemical engineer Fahad Andergeeri became a florist after spotting a gap in the market.

“The idea for Sepale came when I couldn’t find a good flower shop here (in Jeddah), nothing compared with Dubai or New York,” he told Arab News. “So I decided to open up my own brand.”

The 27-year-old entrepreneur started his online store to sell long-lasting blooms that people could cherish. He also introduced top-notch chocolate and packaging as quality is something Andergeeri is particularly proud of. 

“We try to keep everything very high quality, the packages are high-end, the roses are some of the best in the world, and the chocolates are imported from Belgium. We wouldn’t sell fresh flowers in the beginning, we would sell preserved roses that last for a year or more.”

Preserved roses are fresh roses that are chemically treated to live for longer periods of time.

Andergeeri’s passion for flowers started in childhood. “I spent a lot of time browsing on Instagram. At that time, I knew that there were very few shops that specialized in selling flowers.”

He became curious and started to familiarize himself with local vendors. He said that the rose industry in Jeddah was still developing when he entered the market, so he decided to import roses from abroad.

“It took time to learn and figure (it) out. I researched a lot and traveled to places like the Netherlands and China. It was a challenge in the beginning but once we got better at it, it got easier.”

The whole process took him six months of sampling, researching, and changing the products to suit the brand image.

The packaging is what makes the shop unique, he added. “I wanted to give the receiver something that is a complete gift they can keep for the maximum amount of time. It is not like a bouquet that you will keep for a few days and then throw away.”

He aims to become one of the leading flower shops in the market by 2030.