US officials on Wednesday warned of a possible strike on Riyadh, as the Saudi Arabian-led military coalition reported the interception of drones and missiles fired by Yemeni rebels toward the kingdom.
The Iran-linked Houthi rebels have stepped up attacks on Saudi Arabia, mainly targeting southern provinces along their shared border.
The US embassy in Riyadh warned US citizens in the capital to stay on “alert” and “take necessary precautions.”
“The embassy is tracking reports of possible missiles or drones that may be headed toward Riyadh today,” the embassy said in a statement on its Web site, without offering any details.
Houthi rebels have targeted Riyadh in the past with missiles and drones, with the coalition saying it intercepted most of them.
Riyadh lies more than 700km north of the border with Yemen.
Hours after the embassy statement, the coalition said that six bomb-laden drones launched by the rebels toward the kingdom had been intercepted, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
It did not specify the target.
The rebels launched the drones “deliberately and systematically to target civilians” in the kingdom, coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said.
The coalition also subsequently intercepted rebel ballistic missiles targeting the southern provinces of Jizan and Najran, as well as the southern city of Khamis Mushait, state television said.
Two other targets were destroyed in the air, it said.
Yemen is mired in civil war between the Houthi rebels, who control the capital, Sana’a, and an internationally recognized government supported by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition.
The attacks come amid intense fighting as the Houthis try to seize control of oil-rich Marib Province — the government’s last northern stronghold, which lies 120km east of Sana’a.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying sophisticated weapons to the Houthis, a charge that Tehran denies.
The coalition, which is backed by Western powers including the US, in 2015 intervened in support of the Yemeni government after the Houthis seized Sana’a, but it has struggled to oust the militia.
Since then, tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict.
A CAUTIONARY TALE: Bookseller Lam Wing-kee speaks of the danger that his adopted home Taiwan now faces and the ordeal of his detention in China Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) leaned forward in his chair, answering quickly and sharply to issue a warning to the people of his new home, Taiwan. “Be ready now,” Lam said. “We should be more alert as citizens, we should get ready,” the 64-year-old Hong Konger said. “If they can take Hong Kong back, the next place, I feel, is Taiwan.” Late in Taipei at Causeway Bay Books Mark II, on the 10th floor of a nondescript building, Lam, a wiry, gray-haired bookseller, was sitting at his desk with a bemused gaze behind thin oval glasses. The desk was neat, but crowded with books and a
‘POLICE EVERYWHERE’: A law that would criminalize the publication of images of police officers was passed by the National Assembly and awaits Senate approval Violent clashes erupted in Paris on Saturday as tens of thousands took to the streets to protest against new security legislation, with tensions intensified by the police beating and racial abuse of a black man that shocked France. Several fires were started in Paris, sending acrid smoke into the air, as protesters vented their anger against the security law, which would restrict the publication of police officers’ faces. About 46,000 people marched in Paris and 133,000 in total nationwide, the French Ministry of the Interior said. Protest organizers said about 500,000 joined nationwide, including 200,000 in the capital. French President Emmanuel Macron late
Not enough beds and not enough doctors: a skyrocketing COVID-19 caseload is pushing hospitals in the Balkans to the cusp of collapse, in chaotic scenes reminding some medics of the region’s 1990s wars. After nearly a year of keeping outbreaks more or less under control, the nightmare scenario that the Balkans feared from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is now starting to unfold. In hard-hit Bosnia-Herzegovina, one doctor described the distress of having to juggle the care of multiple patients whose lives were hanging by a thread. “The situation reminds me of the war, and I’m afraid it could get even worse
SIGNIFICANT RULING: That male prisoners are denied a choice as to their hair length suggests they are treated less favourably than female prisoners, the judges wrote Prison staff were wrong to cut the hair of a former Hong Kong legislator known for his long locks, the territory’s top court said yesterday, in the second significant ruling against authorities this month. The decision came as powerful establishment voices called for an overhaul of the judiciary — something opponents fear could muzzle the Hong Kong legal system’s vaunted independence as Beijing cracks down on its critics. The ruling by the Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal is the culmination of a long legal battle by former Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄), 64, who served a brief jail sentence in