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.


Turkey may suspend ties with UAE over Israel deal, Erdogan says

Updated 20 min 22 sec ago

Turkey may suspend ties with UAE over Israel deal, Erdogan says

  • Turkey has diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, but relations have been strained for years

ISTANBUL: Turkey is considering suspending diplomatic ties with the UAE and withdrawing its ambassador over the Gulf state’s accord to normalize ties with Israel, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
The Turkish foreign ministry said history would never forgive the UAE’s “hypocritical behavior” in agreeing such a deal, which recasts the order of Middle East politics.
Under the US-brokered deal, the first between Israel and a Gulf Arab country, the Jewish state agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank. Palestinian leaders have denounced it as a “stab in the back” to their cause.

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READ MORE: UAE, Israel reach ‘historic deal’ to normalize relations

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“The move against Palestine is not a step that can be stomached. Now, Palestine is either closing or withdrawing its embassy. The same thing is valid for us now,” Erdogan said, adding he gave orders to his foreign minister.
“I told him we may also take a step in the direction of suspending diplomatic ties with the Abu Dhabi leadership or pulling back our ambassador,” he told reporters after Friday prayers.
The Foreign Ministry had earlier said Palestinians were right to reject the deal in which the UAE betrayed their cause.
“History and the conscience of the region’s peoples will not forget and never forgive this hypocritical behavior,” it said. “It is extremely worrying that the UAE should, with a unilateral action, try and do away with the (2002) Arab Peace Plan developed by the Arab League.”
Turkey has diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, but relations have been strained for years. In 2010 Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists trying to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.
The deal makes UAE the third Arab country to establish full relations with Israel, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.