Published: Sun, November 05, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Saudi forces intercept ballistic missile fired at Riyadh by Yemen's Houthi rebels

Saudi forces intercept ballistic missile fired at Riyadh by Yemen's Houthi rebels

The authority said in two tweets that the Saudi Air Defence managed to intercept a ballistic missile towards Riyadh and that the rocket landed on the airport campus and did not cause any significant damage.

A ballistic missile launched from Yemen was intercepted northeast of Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, according to local media.

The spokesman said the rebels also attacked army positions in al-Maqatirah district in the southern Lahij province in a failed attempt to cut supply routes to Taiz.

The missile was destroyed near Riyadh's King Khaled International Airport, which was functioning normally, it added.

This is the first time a Houthi missile has come this close to a heavily populated area, and it appears to be the farthest such a missile has reached inside Saudi Arabia.

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Iran-backed Yemeni Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for firing missile, which was targeting the airport, the Huthis' Al-Masirah television said. Riyadh is about 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) north of the border with Yemen.

Ali al-Qahum, an official in the Houthi politbureau, said the missile was in retaliation for what he called "daily massacres" in Yemen by the Saudi-led bloc. The attack killed 29 civilians.

The US, which is one of the kingdom's most important military suppliers, has backed the coalition with logistical support.

Saudi Arabia accuses its rival, Shiite power Iran, of training and helping arm the rebels.

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to prop up Hadi's government after the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa.

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