In Saudi Arabia, there number of reported break outs of the H5N8 strain of avian influenza during the reporting period. This is the first time in ten years that any strain of avian flu has been reported within the Kingdom. Cases were reported in Riyadh, Al-Kharj, Dhurma, and Al-Muzahimya. A number of birds were culled to stop the spread of infection, but trading partners such as the UAE have already begun to stop poultry imports from Saudi Arabia as a preventative measure against the spread of infection.
Houthi militants fired a Scud-type ballistic missile towards Al-Yamama palace in the south of Riyadh on December 19. The missile was intercepted by Saudi air defense systems and destroyed. Although Houthi media outlets claimed that the missile strike inflicted a number of causalities, Saudi and international media sources have refuted this. The missile originated from Yemen’s Saada region, and is the second ballistic missile attack on the KSA capital in as many months. Read more here.