Coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia from Yemen

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The coalition said the drone was targeting Jazan. (AP/File photo)
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A picture published on the Saudi Press Agency shows rising smoke from the incident’s location. (SPA)
Updated 08 August 2019

Coalition intercepts Houthi drone targeting Saudi Arabia from Yemen

  • The attack comes after the militants used a civilian market place to launch a ballistic missile in Hajjah province

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition intercepted a Houthi drone launched from Yemen towards Jazan in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Coalition spokesman, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, said the attempted attack “reflect the Houthis losses on the ground.”

Earlier, the coalition said the Houthis fired a ballistic missile late Wednesday from a civilian site located in Yemen’s Al-Hajjah governorate.

Al-Maliki said the missile was launched from a local market and fell within the same Yemeni governorate. It was unclear what the militants were targeting.

Such  “absurd attempts” are an extension to previous acts by the Iranian-backed militia that use civilian sites to launch their attacks from, Al-Maliki said.

He said the militia has previously used a university campus as a site to launch a missile that fell on residential neighborhoods in Al-Jawf governorate.

As well as using the missiles inside Yemen, the Iran-backed Houthis have launched dozens of strikes into Saudi Arabia, targeting civilian infrastructure such as airports and oil pipelines.

The coalition says Iran has supplied the Houthis with ballistic missile technology.The Houthis triggered the Yemen conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa from the internationally recognized government in 2014.

Anti-govt protesters block key Iraqi port

Updated 7 min 1 sec ago

Anti-govt protesters block key Iraqi port

  • At least 315 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October

BASRA: Protesters blocked entry to Iraq’s main commodities port again on Monday while schools and government offices in many southern cities were shut in response to calls for a general strike.

At least 315 people have been killed since the start of mass unrest in Baghdad and southern Iraq in early October, the largest demonstrations since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests. Unsatisfied by government reform promises they see as meagre, many have turned to civil disobedience tactics.

Hundreds on Monday blocked the entrance to the Umm Qasr commodities port near Basra, preventing employees and tankers from entering and bringing operations down by 50 percent, two port sources said.

If the blockage goes on, operations will come to a complete halt, the sources said. The port was previously blocked from Oct. 29 to Nov. 9 with a brief resumption of operations between Nov. 7-9.

“Our protests in Umm Qasr are in solidarity with our brothers in Tahrir Square and other provinces,” said protester Karim Jawad, referring to the main protest site in Baghdad.

Umm Qasr is Iraq’s main Gulf port. It receives imports of grain, vegetable oils and sugar shipments that feed a country largely dependent on imported food.

The blockage cost the country more than $6 billion during just the first week of the closure, a government spokesman said at the time.

In the southern cities of Hilla, Diwaniya, and the Shiite holy city of Karbala, most schools and government offices were closed after the teachers union declared a strike and others followed suit. There were partial closures in the city of Najaf and some Baghdad schools were also closed.

In Karbala, most shops and markets were closed in response to a call from the local trade chamber. In Hilla and Diwaniya, the striking workers joined the main protest camps in the city centers.

In the southern city of Nassiriya, all schools and government offices were closed but hospitals remained open. One protester died from wounds sustained there on Friday

In Baghdad, labor unions marched to central Tahrir Square to join thousands of protesters who have been camped out there since Oct. 24.

Protesters regained control of a third bridge leading into the capital’s Green Zone on Sunday, part of a weeks-long attempt to disrupt traffic and reach the fortified complex which houses government buildings and foreign missions.

The unrest has shattered the relative calm that followed the defeat of Daesh in 2017.