Saudi Arabia threatens Iran after Houthi missile attack

Military coalition led by Saudi Arabia threatens retaliation against Iran after Houthi rebels fire missile barrage from Yemen.

Elad Benari,

Houthis
Houthis
Reuters

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia on Monday threatened retaliation against Iran after Houthi rebels fired a barrage of missiles from Yemen, AFP reported.

Saudi forces said they intercepted seven missiles on Sunday, including over the capital Riyadh, in a deadly escalation that coincided with the third anniversary of the coalition's intervention in Yemen.

The Saudis accused their regional rival Iran of being behind the attack.

Displaying wreckage at a news conference in Riyadh of what it said were fragments of those ballistic missiles, the coalition claimed forensic analysis showed they were supplied to Houthi rebels by their ally Iran.

"The missiles launched against Saudi territory were smuggled from Iran," coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki told reporters.

We "reserve the right to respond against Iran at the right time and right place", he warned.

The missile strikes resulted in the first reported fatality from Houthi fire in the Saudi capital.

Egyptian national Abdul-Moteleb Ahmed, 38, died instantly in his bed when what appeared to be burning shrapnel struck his ramshackle room in Riyadh's Um al-Hammam district, leaving a gaping hole in the roof, witnesses told AFP.

Three other Egyptian laborers in the same room were wounded and hospitalized, they said.

The Houthis said on their Al-Masirah television that Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport was among the targets.

It has long been believed that Iran is planning to use the Houthis to take over Yemen and seize the key strategic port of Aden, which controls the entrance to the Red Sea and ultimately to the Israeli resort city of Eilat.

Iran denies it is backing the Houthis. Recently, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley brought Security Council envoys to a U.S. military base in Washington to view missile parts that the U.S. calls evidence of Iran’s illicit transfer of prohibited missiles to the Houthis.

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen on March 26, 2015 to try to restore the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after the Houthis and their allies took over large parts of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

About 10,000 Yemenis have been killed and 53,000 wounded since the start of the coalition intervention in Yemen.


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