Saudi Arabia Says It Intercepts Houthi Missiles in Riyadh and Southern Cities

Posted April 12, 2018

Last month, one man was killed in Riyadh by debris after the military shot down a flurry of missiles, the first casualty of the Yemen war in the Saudi capital.

The attacks mark the fourth time in five months that missiles have flown over Riyadh, as the Houthis step up efforts to demonstrate they can reach the Saudi capital, threatening to escalate a regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Houthi rebels reportedly fired a number of missiles towards a Saudi government building.

Wednesday's attacks were claimed by the rebels via their news outlet Al-Masirah.

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The channel did not provide any details on casualties of damage from the alleged attack, however Saudi authorities said its facilities in Jizan were operating "normally and safely" following the Houthis' announcement. Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of funding and arming the rebel movement, a charge Iran has denied.

Al-Masirah said the Houthis had also launched an attack with the same model of drone on the airport of Abha in neighboring Asir province, Reuters reported.

Saleh al-Sammad, head of the rebels' supreme political council, in a speech earlier this week declared 2018 would be "the year of ballistics".

One of the drones was targeting the Abha worldwide airport in Asir province, which led to a temporary suspension of air traffic, and a second was approaching a "civilian object" in Jizan province, he said.

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Police said it was too early to speculate about the motive behind the crash and say they are still investigating. Ms Adomeit went on to say there was no indication the perpetrator had any political motives for the attack.

Upon coalition inspection, "it turned out to be a hostile Huthi drone with Iranian components", Malki said.

According to the Houthis, the Abha airport has suspended flights following the drone air strike.

The Houthis claimed to have targeted the defence ministry in Riyadh and a Saudi Aramco distribution facility in Najran.

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