Tuesday, April 28
Latest News
  1. Kerry: US defense commitment to Japan 'ironclad', includes Senkakus
  2. Kerry unveils $10 mln in Nepal quake aid
  3. Government: Nepal quake death toll passes 4,000
  4. Bahrain again extends top rights activist's detention
  5. Kerry to meet Iran FM Zarif on Monday
  6. Dozens of Iraqi police killed during fierce clashes in Ramadi
  7. First Saudi National Guards reach Yemen border zone
  8. Israel charges soldiers over looting during Gaza war
  9. Israel invites bids for 77 East Jerusalem settler homes
  10. Deutsche Bank Q1 profits fall 50% over $2.5 bn rate fixing fine
  11. Witnesses: 2 protestors shot dead in Burundi capital
  12. Small groups of protestors, police clash in Burundi capital
  13. Clashes rage in Yemen as calls for peace talks grow
  14. EU AgenPolice arrest 26 across Europe in horsemeat scandal
  15. US: Russia failing to fully implement Ukraine ceasefire
  16. Kerry urges Yemen rebels and their allies to enter talks
  17. Ex-Yemen leader urges rebel allies to heed UN, pull back
  18. Iraq lacks DNA results to test body of 'Saddam deputy'
  19. Family: Syria's sacked political spy chief dead
  20. Officials: 14 Somali, Afghan immigrants killed by train in Macedonia

Saudi says its air force has not struck al-Qaida in Yemen

Jan. 5, 2013 5:43 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2013 5:43 P.M.)
RIYADH (Reuters) -- Saudi Arabian fighter jets have not attacked al-Qaida targets in Yemen, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said on Saturday, denying a newspaper report that some strikes attributed to US drones were made instead by the kingdom's air force.

Britain's Times newspaper on Friday cited an unnamed US intelligence source as saying "some of the so-called drone missions are actually Saudi Air Force missions".

Asked to comment by reporters in Riyadh on Saturday, Prince Saud said, "This is not true." He did not elaborate.

Any evidence of Saudi involvement in air strikes in Yemen risks damaging Riyadh's efforts to target militants there by complicating its relationship with the government in Sanaa and with Yemeni tribal leaders, who control large parts of the country, including areas where al-Qaida members are present.

Washington and Riyadh fear turbulence in impoverished Yemen could allow al-Qaida a launchpad to attack Saudi energy targets and crude tankers in the Red Sea, a major oil shipping route.

US drones are used to target suspected militants in Yemen and other countries without risking ground troops or air crews. US officials acknowledge the use of drones against al-Qaida internationally but do not discuss operational details.

Some of the leaders of regional wing Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula are Saudi nationals and they have sworn to bring down the kingdom's ruling al-Saud family.

Western intelligence agencies have credited Riyadh with foiling attacks planned by AQAP on international targets, including airlines.

In November two Saudi border guards were shot dead in a fight with suspected militants attempting to cross the long, porous desert border.

Security experts in the No. 1 oil exporter say Saudi Arabia views militants in Yemen as its most immediate security threat.

The last time Saudi Arabia's air force was actively deployed was during a late-2009 conflict with Houthi rebels in north Yemen who had carried out cross-border raids into the kingdom.
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015