Saudi intercepts missile over Riyadh

Houthis have stepped up missile attacks on the kingdom in retaliation of air raids

Saudi ‘intercepts’ missile over capital

Saudi-Yemen war

A ballistic missile is seen after it was fired toward the Saudi capital of Riyadh from an undisclosed location in Yemen, in this handout photo released December 19, 2017 by the Houthi movement’s War Media. Houthi War Media/Handout via REUTERS

April 11, 2018 – Saudi air defence forces have intercepted a missile over the capital Riyadh, according to a Saudi-funded news channel on 11 April.

In a breaking news caption at 1450gmt, Al-Arabiya TV reported: “Saudi Arabia: the air defence forces intercept a missile over Riyadh.”

The reported incident came shortly after the channel’s website reported that Saudi forces shot down on 11 April a reconnaissance drone plane belonging to Yemen’s Houthi rebels over the airport of the kingdom’s southern city of Abha.

Earlier the rebels said that they carried out drone attacks on two targets in Saudi Arabia’s southwest – Abha airport and on an Aramco company facility.

The Houthis have stepped up ballistic missile attacks on targets in Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition to push back the rebels and reinstate the internationally-recognised government of exiled President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

On 9 April, one of the most senior Houthi rebel figures vowed that this year will be a “ballistic year” for Saudi Arabia, amid a spate of increasingly regular missile strikes on the kingdom.
Source: Al-Arabiya TV, Dubai, in Arabic 1449 gmt, April 11, 2018
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Houthis say launched drone attack on Aramco facility

Saudi-Yemen war

A tribesman loyal to the Houthi movement carries a cardboard model of a missile during a gathering to mark 1000 days of the Saudi-led military intervention in the Yemeni conflict, in Sanaa, Yemen December 21, 2017. REUTERS

April 11, 2018 – Yemen’s armed Houthi movement said on Wednesday it had launched a drone strike on a facility belonging to oil giant Saudi Aramco in southern Saudi Arabia – though the company said its plants there were operating “normally and safely”.

The Houthis’ Al-Masirah TV channel did not say when the attack took place or give details of any damage.

“The air force announced the execution of air strikes with the Qasef-1 aircraft on Aramco in Jizan (province),” the channel said on its Twitter account, referring to a drone the Houthis unveiled last year.

Saudi Aramco operates a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Jizan, part of a new economic city on the Red Sea.

Al-Masirah said the Houthis had also launched an attack with the same model of drone on the airport of Abha in neighbouring Asir province.

Saudi Arabia and a coalition of mostly Gulf Arab states intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 to try and push back the Houthis after the movement drove the internationally recognized government into Saudi exile.

The coalition has launched thousands of air strikes which have hit schools, markets and hospitals, killing hundreds of people – though it says it does not target civilians.

The Houthis have stepped up ballistic missile attacks on the kingdom in what it says is retaliation for the air raids.

They have frequently claimed attacks, including on Aramco facilities, that Saudi Arabia and its main ally the United Arab Emirates have either said did not happen or were intercepted.

The group unveiled what it said was a series of drones, including the Qasef-1, at a ceremony last year.

The arms monitor Conflict Armament Research (CAR) said it had evidence showing the Qasef-1 and other Houthi kit was made in Iran and was not of indigenous design and construction “in contrast to Houthi statements”.

The coalition accuses the Houthis of being armed and supported by Iran – charges the group and Tehran deny.
Source: The Daily Star, April 11, 2018
Description of source: A daily newspaper covering all the latest news and issues in Lebanon and around the world. Country of origin: Lebanon
© 2018. Web Middle East (Web Me) s.a.l

Saudi Arabia intercepts Yemeni rebel missiles, drones

Saudi-Yemen war

A Houthi militant stands in front of a cardboard model of a missile during a gathering to mark 1000 days of the Saudi-led military intervention in the Yemeni conflict, in Sanaa, Yemen December 21, 2017. REUTERS

April 11, 2018 – Saudi Arabia faced a flurry of attempted attacks by Yemen’s rebels Wednesday, with the kingdom’s defense forces saying they intercepted missiles that targeted Riyadh and another city, and drones targeting an airport and an Aramco oil facility in the country’s south.

The attacks underscore how the Houthi rebels continue to retain a range of potentially lethal and disruptive ways to hit the kingdom, despite more than three years of devastating Saudi airstrikes on Yemen to try and roll back Houthi control of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and other northern strongholds.

The strikes by the rebels in neighboring Yemen came just days before Saudi Arabia is to host heads of state and dignitaries for the annual Arab League summit, which will be held this year in the eastern Saudi city of Dammam. The location may have been selected by the kingdom to avoid Houthi missile strikes during Sunday’s summit.

Saudi state-run TV channel al-Ekhbariya carried an official statement saying the kingdom’s defense forces intercepted missiles fired at Riyadh and the southern city of Jizan.

The Houthi-run al-Masirah TV channel said the ballistic missiles targeted the Saudi Defense Ministry in Riyadh, among other targets in the kingdom’s capital.

An Associated Press reporter in Riyadh heard three loud explosions overhead just before sunset Wednesday. Other residents of the capital posted on social media similar accounts of hearing loud explosions and seeing smoke in the sky from the possible missile interception.

Saudi forces said they also destroyed two Houthi drones targeting the cities of Jizan and the airport in Abha, also near the border with Yemen.

Saudi officials said flights were temporarily suspended at Abha airport in line with safety procedures. At least one Saudi media outlet reported a drone crash at the airport had injured two airport workers.

The kingdom and its allies, with support from the United States, have been at war in Yemen since March 2015. More than 10,000 Yemenis have died in the conflict and millions in the impoverished country have been pushed to the brink of famine.

Saudi coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki accused rival Iran of being behind Wednesday’s attacks. He has previously warned that Saudi Arabia reserves the right to respond against Iran. Iran denies arming the rebels. Al-Masirah TV said the Houthis used a Qasef-1 drone to disrupt air traffic at Abha airport and to target a Saudi Aramco facility in Jizan in response to what it described as “Saudi-American crimes against Yemenis.”

The Houthis last year unveiled the Qasef-1 drone, along with three other new types of drones used for surveillance and attack, claiming they were indigenously made.

Evidence documented by the Conflict Armament Research group, or CAR, said the Qasef-1 drone appears to be Iranian-manufactured and has been supplied in batches to Houthi forces in Yemen. The Houthis and their allies have used the drones to disable Patriot missile defense systems deployed by Saudi-led forces in Yemen, said CAR.

A week ago, Saudi air defense forces said they shot down a missile fired by the Houthis at the Aramco refinery in Jizan. Earlier this month, the coalition said the rebels attacked a Saudi oil tanker in the Red Sea, causing “minor damage” to the ship.

A missile fragment last month killed an Egyptian resident of Riyadh – the first death reported in the capital as a result of the missile strikes. While missile strikes against Riyadh are growing in frequency, the Houthis have more often targeted southern Saudi border cities and towns.
Source: The Daily Star, April 11, 2018
Description of source: A daily newspaper covering all the latest news and issues in Lebanon and around the world. Country of origin: Lebanon
© 2018. Web Middle East (Web Me) s.a.l

Royal Saudi Air Defense Intercepts Drones Targeting Kingdom

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –The Coalition Forces to Support the Legitimacy in Yemen Spokesperson, Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, stated that at 7:40am this morning, Abha Airport’s defense system detected an unidentified object moving in the direction of the airport. This object was then managed in accordance with the rules of engagement and destroyed. All air traffic was suspended in accordance with the international laws of aviation, which later resumed after neutralizing the threat. Upon examining the debris of the object by Coalition specialists, it was found to be a hostile Houthi combat drone, with Iranian characteristics and specifications, which was attempting to attack the airport- an area protected under international law.

Additionally, Col. Al-Maliki also stated that at 7:30am today, an unidentified object was spotted heading in the direction of a civilian landmark in Jizan. Air defense dealt with the object, destroying it without causing any losses. Upon Coalition specialists examining the object, it was determined that parts match the combat drone that attempted to attack Abha International Airport.

Col. Al-Maliki also noted that at 5:30 pm today, the Coalition air defense spotted 3 missiles that were launched by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia from within the Yemeni territory of Sa’ada and the Northern part of the territory of Amran towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. One of these rockets was going towards the capital Riyadh, the other two were directed at the cities of Najran and Jizan, targeting civilian and populated areas. All of these missiles were intercepted by the Saudi Royal Air Defense forces, resulting in fragments of rockets falling in neighborhoods. No injuries or casualties were recorded at the time of the statement being made.

The Coalition expressed a strong warning against the Iranian-backed Houthi militias for their continued targeting of civilians and civilian locations. Their use of terror tactics will be managed with a forceful response, and the Coalition will take all necessary defensive actions, in accordance to international humanitarian law and known customs.

The Coalition issued a warning against using these attacks against civilians, civilian locations, as well as vital and industrial installations. The Houthi militia should be forewarned that these continued actions would have consequences that will be theirs to bear. The Houthis are in clear violation of United Nations resolution 2216 and 2231, threatening the security of the Kingdom and threatening regional security. The firing of ballistic missiles at populated cities and villages is a violation of international humanitarian law, proving that the Iranian-backed Houthi militia continues to flaunt their disregard for international norms.

SOURCE: Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, Information Office
Source: PR Newswire, April 11, 2018

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