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Fighter jets belonging to a Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen's Houthi rebels have launched dozens of air raids on several Yemeni provinces, as the kingdom announced the start of a new military operation. The Houthi-run Al Masirah Media Network reported air raids on the capital, Sanaa, as well as Marib, al-Jouf, al-Bayda, Hajjah and Saada provinces throughout Wednesday and into the night. It said an elderly woman and a child were killed and four others wounded in Saada province. In Sanaa, residents described the air raids, which also struck the city's international airport, as "violent". Saudi state television reported earlier on Wednesday that the coalition had begun a military push against the Houthis after the group stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on the kingdom.
The Saudi-led military coalition, which has been battling the Houthi rebels in Yemen, said on Saturday it had intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile targeting the Saudi Arabian border city of Najran. In a statement issued via the Saudi state news agency SPA, coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said the missile was fired from the Yemeni city of Saada, and some people were slightly injured by fragments of the weapon when it was destroyed. The missile had targeted civilian facilities in the southwestern Saudi city of Najran near the border with Yemen, the coalition said. The Houthis, who have controlled the capital, Sanaa, and areas in the country's north since 2014, did not confirm the attack. The rebel group has launched dozens of drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in the past in what they call retaliation to the Saudi intervention in Yemen.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – A small instrument inside the drones that targeted the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry and those in the arsenal of Yemen's Houthi rebels match components recovered in downed Iranian drones in Afghanistan and Iraq, two reports say. These gyroscopes have only been found inside drones manufactured by Iran, Conflict Armament Research said in a report released on Wednesday. That follows a recently released report from the United Nations saying its experts saw a similar gyroscope from an Iranian drone obtained by the U.S. military in Afghanistan, as well as in weapons shipments seized in the Arabian Sea bound for Yemen. The discovery further ties Iran to an attack that briefly halved Saudi Arabia's oil output and saw energy prices spike by a level unseen since the 1991 Gulf War. It also ties Iran to the arming of the rebel Houthis in Yemen's long civil war.
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia alleged Wednesday an attack by drones and cruise missiles on the heart of the kingdom's oil industry was "unquestionably sponsored by Iran," naming but not directly accusing Tehran of launching the assault. Iran denies being involved in the attack claimed by Yemeni rebels, and has threatened the U.S. that it will retaliate "immediately" if Tehran is targeted in response. The news conference by Saudi military spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki comes after a summer of heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. over President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrawing America from Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The U.S. alleges Iran launched the attack, which Yemen's Houthi rebels earlier claimed as a response to the yearslong Saudi-led war there that's killed tens of thousands of people. Al-Malki made a point not to directly accuse Iran of firing the weapons or launching them from inside of Iranian territory.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Drones attacked the world's largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field operated by Saudi Aramco early Saturday, the kingdom's Interior Ministry said, sparking a huge fire at a processor crucial to global energy supplies. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, though Yemen's Houthi rebels previously launched drone assaults deep inside of the kingdom. It wasn't clear if there were any injuries in the attacks, nor what effect it would have on oil production in the kingdom. The attack also likely will heighten tensions further across the wider Persian Gulf amid a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers. Online videos apparently shot in Buqyaq included the sound of gunfire in the background.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Yemen's Houthi movement launched drone attacks on oil facilities in a remote area of Saudi Arabia, the group's Al Masirah TV said Saturday, but there was no immediate confirmation from Saudi authorities or state oil giant Aramco. A Saudi-led coalition is battling the Iran-aligned Houthis to try to restore Yemen's government, which was ousted from power in the capital, Sanaa, by the group in late 2014. The war has been in military stalemate for years. The Houthis have stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent months. "Ten drones targeted Aramco's Shaybah oilfield and refinery in the first Operation: Balance of Deterrence in the east of the kingdom," the Al Masirah channel reported, citing a Houthi military spokesman.
Ibrahim al-Asiri is seen in these images supplied to Yemeni police as part of a terror suspect handbook. A top Al Qaeda bomb maker who masterminded a plot to bring down an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen last year, a senior U.S. official told Fox News Monday. The Associated Press previously reported that Ibrahim al-Asiri was dead, citing a tribal leader and an Al Qaeda-linked source who said that he was killed in the governate of Marib in eastern Yemen. The tribal leader said that al-Asiri was struck by the drone, along with two or four of his associates, as he stood beside his car. Al Qaeda itself has remained silent about its top bomb maker.
CAIRO – Al-Qaida's chief bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, who was behind the 2009 Christmas Day plot to down an airliner over Detroit and other foiled aviation-related terror attacks, was killed in a U.S. drone strike, Yemeni officials and a tribal leader said Friday. The killing of al-Asiri deals a heavy blow to the group's capabilities in striking western targets and piles pressure on the group that already lost some of its top cadres over the past years in similar drone strikes. A Yemeni security official said that al-Asiri is dead; a tribal leader and an al-Qaida-linked source also said that he was killed in a U.S. drone strike in the eastern Yemeni governorate of Marib. The tribal leader said that al-Asiri was struck, along with two or four of his associates, as he stood beside his car. He added that al-Asiri's wife, who hails from the well-known al-Awaleq tribe in the southern governorate of Shabwa, was briefly held months ago by the UAE-backed forces and later released.
ATAQ, Yemen – Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West. Here's what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot. That's because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself. These compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day -- and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Yemen's Houthi forces shot down a U.S. surveillance drone in the capital, Sanaa, on Sunday, the Houthi-controlled state news agency SABA reported. The Houthi movement and its ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, control much of northern Yemen, including Sanaa, and are battling a Saudi-led coalition that is trying to restore the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The United States backs the Saudi-led coalition by providing it with intelligence and weapons. "A military source said (Houthi) air defenses shot down a U.S. MQ-9 surveillance drone in Jader area in the Sanaa province," SABA reported. A photographer said the drone came down at around 11 am local time in a crowded area on the outskirts of the capital, but there were no reports of any casualties.