World Missiles, drones: the Houthis continue their strategy of harassment in Saudi Arabia
Saudi arms producer in defence venture with Lockheed Martin
Saudi Arabia's state arms producer signed an agreement Sunday with US contractor Lockheed Martin to form a joint venture, a statement said, as Washington reviews weapons sales to the kingdom. Biden's administration also said it was reviewing weapons sales to the kingdom. © FAYEZ NURELDINE Saudi military officers walk past F-15 fighter jets, GBU bombs and missiles displayed during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the creation of the King Faisal Air Academy at King Salman airbase in Riyadh in 2017 The deal was announced by Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI), which said it will own 51 percent of the venture
One more attack. The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen said on Saturday it thwarted a Houthi ballistic missile attack targeting the Saudi capital Riyadh and said it destroyed five drones targeting cities in southern Saudi Arabia, reported on Saudi television. State. One of the drones loaded with explosives was heading towards Jazan and three others were in the direction of Khamis Mushait, the same source added. A coalition of Gulf countries under Saudi command has been intervening militarily since 2015 in Yemen against the Houthis, supported by Iran, who control the north of the country including Sanaa, the capital.
Khashoggi murder report puts US-Saudi ties on thinner ice
The explosive US finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi promises fresh turbulence between the allies but it is doubtful that Washington will shun the kingdom's de facto ruler. The decision to declassify the report on Khashoggi's grisly killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 marks a major departure by US President Joe Biden from his predecessor Donald Trump, who boasted of close ties with the kingdom.
However, Joe Biden ended American support for the coalition in early February, breaking with Donald Trump's diplomacy. "We are strengthening our diplomatic efforts to end the war in Yemen," said the President of the United States in his first foreign policy speech. "This war must end", he insisted, confirming the appointment of a seasoned diplomat, Timothy Lenderking, as emissary for Yemen. "And to underscore our determination, we are ending all US support for offensive operations in the Yemen war, including arms sales." Concretely, Washington will cancel the sale to Riyadh of "precision munitions" decided at the end of the mandate of Donald Trump, who has always supported the Saudi kingdom, pillar with Israel of its anti-Iran policy.
Saudi Arabia ‘intercepts ballistic missile attack over Riyadh’
Saudi-led coalition blames Yemen’s Houthis as state TV broadcasts footage of explosions in the air over Riyadh.Brigadier General Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said in a statement that the Houthis launched a ballistic missile towards Riyadh and three booby-trapped drones towards the province of Jizan, with a fourth towards the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait.
Recurrent Houthi attacks on Saudi soil
The Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility on February 10 for the drone attack on Abha airport in southern Saudi Arabia. Houthi army spokesman Yahya Sarea said four drones were launched against the airport in retaliation for airstrikes and other coalition maneuvers in Yemen. The coalition had previously said it had intercepted and destroyed two armed drones launched by Shiite rebels. This is the third time this week that drones fired by the Houthis have been intercepted, according to the coalition. The United States announced on February 5 its intention to revoke its decision to designate the Yemeni Houthi movement as a terrorist organization, reversing one of the latest decisions taken by the Trump administration.
Abha International Airport, located about 120 km from the border with Yemen, has suffered a drone attack in the past. "The attempted attack on Abha airport is a war crime and puts the lives of civilian travelers in danger," the coalition said in a statement. She added that the attack hit a civilian aircraft on the ground, igniting the aircraft, which is now under control.
What is behind the rise in Saudi-Houthi tit-for-tat attacks? .
The Yemeni group and Saudi Arabia have been engaged in tit-for-tat attacks amid renewed US efforts to end the conflict.On Monday, the Houthis targeted the heart of a Saudi oil installation in its eastern province, pushing global crude oil prices to the highest level in two years.