The Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh was targeted by a barrage of missiles fired from Yemeni Shiite rebels on the third anniversary of the war’s start. Missile fragments killed one Saudi resident and wounded two others.
The rebels known as Houthis said they launched a missile attack targeting Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport and other sites, again showing their ability to strike deep into the neighboring kingdom amid the stalemated war in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country.
A spokesperson for the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia says “seven ballistic missiles were shot toward Saudi Arabia from within Yemen.” A press conference will be held Monday at 1 p.m. ET “to provide more details about this aggressive act.”
The officials detailed the targets for each: Three were centrally poised in the direction of Riyadh, one toward the southwest in Khamis Mushait, one along the Southern border targeting Najran, two aiming for the southern city of Jizan and one was randomly launched with the intent of hitting a densely populated civilian area.
“With credit to the Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces, all seven ballistic missiles were intercepted and destroyed. According to preliminary information, the interception resulted in fragments raining on a few residential neighborhoods and, at the issuance of this statement, the loss of life of an Egyptian resident, in addition to material damage to civilian objects-the details of which will shortly be announced by the relevant authorities,” according to Col. Turki Al Maliki, spokesperson for the coalition forces to support the legitimate government in Yemen.
The barrage likely will spark new criticism of Iran’s role in the conflict as well, as the Houthis identified some of the missiles fired as a type that the United Nations and the West say comes from Tehran.
A watchdog group said Monday that roadside bombs disguised as rocks in Yemen bear similarities to others used by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and by insurgents in Iraq and Bahrain, suggesting at the least an Iranian influence in their manufacture. The report by Conflict Armament Research was dismissed by the Iranian mission to the U.N.
U.S. supplied Patriot Missiles launched by the Saudis as part of their air defense network intercepted the missiles according to official reports. Of course, Iran has denied that supplies any material support for the rebels, despite contradicting evidence.
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