TIMELINE: Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

Houthis attacked Abha airport on Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 13 June 2019

TIMELINE: Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: The Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen have attacked Saudi Arabia's territory, killing and injuring civilians in the process, often to international condemnation. On Wednesday, the militia launched a missile at Abha airport, injuring at least 26 people.

Here is a look at other incidents of terror perpetrated by the Houthis against the Kingdom.

May 5, 2015: Saudi Arabia suspended schools in the southern town of Najran after Iran-backed Houthi militias fired at the city from Yemen, Al Arabiya news channel reported. 

At least two civilians were killed in the attack, while five Saudi soldiers were captured by the Houthi militants, the Associated Press reported, quoting tribal leaders who chose to be unnamed.

June 7, 2015: Saudi troops shot down a Scud missile fired into the Kingdom from Yemen before dawn, the coalition command said.

Oct. 28, 2016: Saudi ground defenses intercepted a ballistic missile launched by Houthi militias targeting the holy city of Makkah.

The Arab coalition said in a statement that the missile was downed 65 kilometers from Makkah, adding that coalition jet fighters attacked the rocket launchers in Saada and destroyed them.

July 28, 2017: Saudi air defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile launched toward Makkah by Yemen’s Houthi militia, according to the Arab coalition command.

In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the coalition command said the missile was shot down over Al-Wasliya area in Taif province, some 69 kilometers away from Makkah. No damage or injuries were reported.

The missile attack was “clearly a desperate attempt to disrupt the Hajj season,” the statement said.

Nov. 4, 2017: The Houthis launched a missile at Riyadh, targeting King Khalid International Airport. Saudi air defense forces intercepted the missile and shot it down, and there was no damage.

Dec. 20, 2017: Houthi militias in Yemen fired a ballistic missile at Riyadh, targeting Al-Yamamah Royal Palace in the Saudi capital.

“The missile was intercepted by Saudi patriot defense systems south of Riyadh, causing the debris to scatter,” the Arab coalition supporting the legitimate Yemeni government said. 

MalikiCoalition spokesperson Col. Turki Al- said that no one was injured and no properties were damaged.

May 15, 2018: Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces (RSADF) intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militia over the southern city of Jazan, the Arab coalition spokesman said.

Col. Turki Al-Maliki announced that at 12:40 p.m., Saudi air defense intercepted a ballistic missile launched within Yemeni territories toward the Kingdom’s territories. 

The missile was directed toward populated areas in Jazan province. 

June 10, 2018: Saudi air defenses intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern city of Jazan after being fired from rebel-held territory in Yemen, the Arab coalition said.

Debris from the missile landed in residential areas of Jazan without causing casualties, the coalition said in a statement released by SPA.

The attack came a day after three civilians were killed in Jazan when Houthi militia fired a “projectile” at the province.

June 24, 2018: Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces intercepted and destroyed two ballistic missiles over Riyadh, launched by the Houthi militia in Yemen.

Homes in the Saudi capital shook and there were at least six loud blasts, bright flashes in the sky and puffs of smoke above the city. There were no reports of casualties.

April 2, 2019: Two Houthi drones targeting civilian areas in Khamis Mushayt, a mountain city in Asir region, were intercepted and destroyed. 

Five people were reported injured by falling debris. Four vehicles and a number of houses were damaged.

April 8, 2019: Arab coalition air defense forces intercepted a Houthi drone aimed at Saudi Arabia’s southern region of Asir, SPA said.

Col. Turki Al-Maliki, Arab coalition spokesperson, said that at 10:50 p.m. local time, Saudi air defenses spotted the drone heading towards a populated area in the Asir region. 

The drone was shot down before reaching its target and nobody had been reported injured by falling debris from the unmanned aerial vehicle, he said.

Al-Maliki said that the militia continued to target civilians with drone attacks as well as booby-trapped boats in violation of the Stockholm Agreement signed by the militia and the Yemeni government and its coalition backers.

He said that “these acts of terrorism” aimed to provoke the coalition forces into carrying out military action in the province of Hodeidah.

May 13, 2019: Two Saudi tankers were targeted off the coast of the UAE. The Kingdom’s energy minister said the two vessels were targeted off Fujairah. He said that one tanker was en route to the Kingdom to be loaded with Saudi crude oil for the US.

May 14, 2019: Between 6:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., two pump stations on the East-West pipeline were attacked by armed drones, which caused a fire and minor damage to Pump Station No. 8. The fire has since been contained. 

“The pipeline transports Saudi oil from the Eastern Province to Yanbu port,” a statement from Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said. 

The early-morning attack, the second that week in the Gulf, targeted two pumping stations operated by Saudi Aramco.

Saudi Aramco later confirmed the attack in a statement, stating that it had “responded to a fire at East-West Pipeline Pump Station 8 which was caused by a sabotage incident using armed drones which targeted pump stations 8 and 9.”

May 20, 2019: Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces shot down two ballistic missiles that Al-Arabiya reported were heading toward Jeddah and Makkah.

The forces “monitored air targets flying over restricted areas in Jeddah and Taif province, and were dealt with accordingly,” Arab coalition spokesperson Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.

June 11, 2019: Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces shot down two weaponized drones launched by the Houthis from Yemen toward the city of Khamis Mushayt, Al-Maliki said.


Saudi scientists win major award for groundbreaking studies

Wafa Audeh Altalhi (L) and Asma Al-Amoodi
Updated 59 sec ago

Saudi scientists win major award for groundbreaking studies

  • Their research focused on donor-less organ transplants and stem cell treatments

DUBAI: A passion for science and years of hard work has put two Saudi women researchers in the spotlight following their groundbreaking studies on organ transplant alternatives and stem cell treatments.
Wafa Audeh Altalhi and Asma Al-Amoodi were among the six female scientists honored at the sixth edition of the L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science Middle East Fellowship awards in Dubai.
Each of the researchers was awarded a grant in recognition of their outstanding achievements. Altalhi received €20,000 ($22,000) in the postdoctoral researchers category, while Al-Amoodi received €8,000 in the Ph.D. students category.
The 21-year-old initiative empowers women in science and highlights the value of their achievements, while promoting gender equality. So far the program has supported more than 3,100 women and rewarded 107 laureates, granting doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships in 117 countries.
Altalhi’s research in donor-less organ transplants is designed to counter end-stage organ failure, a leading cause of death worldwide.  
“The transplant waiting list has been increasing in recent years, putting immense pressure on patients in terms of hospital expenses. My research uses a patient’s own stem cells to build replacing organs as an alternative to allogenic organ transplants,” she said.

“My research uses a patient’s own stem cells to build replacing organs as an alternative to allogenic organ transplants.”

Wafa Audeh Altalhi

Altalhi’s focus is on bioengineering patient-specific and donor-less organs by making specialized tissue and organs ready for transplant when needed.
“Awards like this provide a platform where candidates and their contributions are examined by experts. I believe that this is important to promote healthy competence in the scientific field and push innovation forward,” Altalhi said.
Before becoming a science laureate, Altalhi attended Umm Al-Qura University, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in laboratory medicine.
She went on to complete a master’s degree in cellular and molecular medicine, followed by a Ph.D. in laboratory medicine and pathobiology at the University of Ottawa and Toronto in Canada.

“This award is about overcoming all limitations and challenges I have faced. The award has turned my dream to do something for our society into reality.”

Asma Al-Amoodi

“I am now doing my postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University and the Center for Organ Bioengineering at Massachusetts general hospital,” she said.
Meanwhile, furthering research in stem cell treatments for cancer patients is Al-Amoodi’s top priority.
She is convinced that more can be done to treat hematological diseases through stem cell research.
According to the Saudi Cancer Registry, leukemia is the fifth most common cancer among both men and women.
With limited therapy options and a high number of patients in the Kingdom, Al-Amoodi is determined to improve the efficiency of bone marrow transplants through her research.
“This award is about overcoming all limitations and challenges I have faced. The award has turned my dream to do something for our society into reality,” she said.
Al-Amoodi has a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory technology and a master’s degree in biology. She plans to pursue her Ph.D. studies in stem cell adhesion mechanism.