Iran backed Houthi militia target Riyadh’s inhabited areas with 2 missiles: coalition

Updated 09 May 2018
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Iran backed Houthi militia target Riyadh’s inhabited areas with 2 missiles: coalition

RIYADH: Two ballistic missiles were fired at the Saudi capital Riyadh on Wednesday, according to the coalition battling rebels in neighboring Yemen who claimed the attempted attack.
Saudi Arabia’s air defenses “intercepted” one of the missiles, while another crashed into a desert area south of Riyadh, coalition spokesman Turki Al-Maliki said.
The missiles were “unquestionably” fired at the city “with the intention of hitting inhabited areas,” he added.
Maliki blamed the attack on “militiamen and terrorists, vassals of Iran” who try to “threaten the security of Saudi Arabia, the region and the world.”
Earlier on Wednesday Al-Ekhbariya state television said the country’s air defenses had intercepted the two missiles over Riyadh.
Two explosions were heard in the city, according to an AFP photographer.
Yemen’s Houthi rebels quickly claimed responsibility for attacking “Riyadh Dry Port and other economic targets” in the Saudi capital with Burkan 2H ballistic missiles.
State-run Saudi Press Agency said the country’s air defenses hours earlier had also intercepted a ballistic missile targeting the southern city of Jizan.
The rebels also claimed the Jizan attack, via their Al-Masirah TV.
Maliki accused the Houthis of firing the missile from the northern Yemeni province of Saada and of “deliberately targeting populated civilian zones.”
He said such “hostile action” proves the involvement of Iran in the Yemen conflict, repeating Riyadh’s long-standing claim that regional rival Tehran is supplying the Houthis with ballistic missiles.
Saudi Arabia launched a military coalition in Yemen in 2015, aimed at rolling back the Houthis and restoring the internationally recognized government to power.
The Houthis have in recent months intensified missile attacks against Saudi Arabia.
The latest salvo came a day after US President Donald Trump exited the Iran nuclear agreement, which he criticized for excluding measures to curb Tehran’s ballistic missile program.


US’s Mnuchin talks about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh for talks with counterpart

Updated 27 min 51 sec ago
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US’s Mnuchin talks about sanctions premature, will visit Riyadh for talks with counterpart

JERUSALEM, Oct 21 : US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday it was premature to comment on possible US sanctions against Saudi Arabia for the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi until an investigation had been completed.
Mnuchin said information so far on the investigation was “a good first step but not enough” as Riyadh faced increasing international pressure over what happened to Khashoggi, who disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
US President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis’ handling of the case.
“It would be premature to comment on sanctions and premature to comment on really any issues until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred,” Mnuchin told reporters in Jerusalem.
Mnuchin confirmed that he would not attend a Saudi investment conference on Tuesday. However, he said he would visit Riyadh as planned for talks with his counterpart on joint efforts to counter terrorist financing and plans by Washington to reimpose sanctions against Iran in November.
“I did not think it was appropriate to go and speak at this conference but we continue to have important issues with Saudi and that is why I am going there,” Mnuchin said.
The visit, he said, was necessary as Washington prepares to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
He said he had no reason to believe that Saudi Arabia would renege on commitments to make up for any shortfall in global oil supplies as Iranian oil exports are curbed under the sanctions.
“I have no reason to believe that they are not going to honor those commitments,” said Mnuchin, who will meet Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih while in Riyadh.