Saudi Arabia intercepts missiles, drones from Yemen

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"An Iranian ballistic missile launched from Sadaa towards Riyadh was successfully intercepted by Saudi Air Defence earlier today", Colonel Turki al-Malki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Huthis, said.

The strikes by the rebels in neighboring Yemen came just days before Saudi Arabia is to host heads of state and dignitaries for the annual Arab League summit, which will be held this year in the eastern Saudi city of Dammam.

Al Arabiya said earlier that Saudi air defense forces had intercepted a missile over Riyadh after at least three blasts were heard in the capital, which has previously been targeted by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Saudi officials have not yet commented on the report.

Al-Masirah TV said the Houthis used a Qasef-1 drone to disrupt air traffic at Abha airport and to target a Saudi Aramco facility in Jizan in response to what it described as "Saudi-American crimes against Yemenis".

Saudi Aramco operates a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Jizan, part of a new economic city on the Red Sea. That same year in June, 17 Sudanese soldiers were killed and dozens more wounded at Midi of Hajjah province, in north-west Yemen.


The kingdom and its mostly Gulf Arab allies intervened in a civil war in Yemen in 2015 to roll back the Houthis after they had pushed the government into Saudi exile.

The United Nations says 10,000 people have died in the three-year-old war, and three out of four Yemenis - 22 million civilians - need relief aid.

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

According to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), the Qasif-1 drone is said to resemble Iran's Ababil-2 drone and is the latest in a line of weapons Tehran has allegedly sent the Houthis.

Maliki said that after examining the debris of the object, specialists of the joint coalition forces said it was found to be a hostile Houthi aircraft with Iranian characteristics and specifications that were trying to target the airport protected under global humanitarian law.

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