Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercept ballistic missile launched by Houthi militia toward Saudi Arabia

Spokesperson for the Arab Coalition, Col. Turki Al-Maliki said coalition air defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia toward Saudi Arabia. (File photo / AFP)
Updated 16 September 2018

Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercept ballistic missile launched by Houthi militia toward Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Spokesperson for the Arab Coalition forces supporting the legitimate government in Yemen, Col. Turki Al-Maliki said that at 6:30 p.m. local time (3:30 GMT), coalition air defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi militia from within the Yemeni territory of Saada governorate, headed toward Saudi Arabia.
Al-Maliki explained that the missile was launched in the direction of the southwestern city of Jazan, and was deliberately launched to target civilian and populated areas, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
“Saudi Royal Air Defense forces succeeded in intercepting and destroying the missile, which did not result in any injuries,” he said.
“This hostile act by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia proves the continued involvement of the Iranian regime in supporting the armed terrorist group in clear and explicit defiance of UN resolution 2216 and resolution 2231, aimed at threatening the security of Saudi Arabia, as well as regional and international security,” Al-Maliki said.
He added that firing ballistic missiles at populated towns and villages is contrary to international humanitarian law.
He pointed out that the total number of ballistic missiles launched by the Houthi militi toward Saudi Arabia has so far reached 195 rockets, which resulted in the deaths of 112 citizens and residents, and wounded hundreds since the Houthi coup on Yemen’s legitimate government.
The coalition spokesperson stressed that the Iranian-backed Houthi militia and those supporting them, who “smuggle these rockets into the Yemeni interior and then launch them indiscriminately at populated cities and terrorize citizens and residents of the Kingdom’s territory, will not escape impunity, and will be pursued until they receive their punishment.
He said, “these acts do not deter coalition forces but rather increase their determination to rid the Yemeni people of the Houthi militia and cut off their flagrant occupations.”

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

Updated 31 min 7 sec ago

Saudi Arabia eases coronavirus lockdown restrictions

  • Curfew to be eased on Sunday, except in Makkah, as domestic travel permitted
  • All curfews in Saudi Arabia to be lifted by June 20

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced the easing of restrictions that has halted much of the activity in the country due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday 31, May, the curfew on all areas of the Kingdom will be eased, except Makkah. Movement in cities and within the regions of the country will again be permitted, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.

The easing will mean the Kingdom’s 24-hour lockdown is relaxed with a curfew from 3 p.m to 6 a.m until Sunday, after which the hours will change to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.. Makkah will remain under a full 24-hour lockdown.

On June 21, all curfews in the Kingdom will be lifted and prayers at Makkah’s mosque will be permitted.

Before then, social distancing guidelines must continue to be adhered to and gatherings of more than 50 people will continue to be banned.

Authorities have also allowed the attendance at ministries, government agencies and private sector companies, and the return of their office activities.

Some economic and commercial activities will also be allowed to take place including those at wholesale and retail shops, as well as malls. Cafes will be permitted to operate once more.

However, all job sectors where social distancing rules are harder to achieve such as beauty salons, barbershops, sports and health clubs, recreational centers and cinemas will remain closed.

Umrah pilgrimage and international flights will continue to be suspended until further notice.

The new rules are subject to constant evaluation at the health ministry and can be changed if the situation warrants it.

Earlier, Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, the health minister, said: “The phases start gradually until we return to normalcy, with its new concept based on social distancing.” 

He added that the precautionary steps taken by the Kingdom early in the outbreak helped to limit the spread of the virus. 

Now, he said, the ministry has developed a plan for the next phase that relies on two main factors: The capacity of the health care system to cope with critical cases, and the expansion of testing to identify new infections as soon as possible.

Reassuring the Saudi nation on Monday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said: “The bad conditions will pass, God willing, and we are heading toward the good, God willing.” 

The Kingdom recorded 2,235 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total to 74,795, and the death toll rose by nine to 399. Worldwide the virus has infected more than 5.5 million people and killed nearly 350,000.