Large-scale missile attack reported on Saudi Arabia
Published: 06:06 PM, 23 June 2020
The Yemeni rebel group Houthi has launched a series of missile and drone attacks in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. A spokesman for the Yemeni rebel group said in a statement on Al-Masirah television that the attack was aimed at the Saudi Defense Ministry and a military base.
Without detailed information on Tuesday’s attack, Al-Masirah said the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels had carried out large-scale attacks deep inside Saudi Arabia. It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties in the attack.
The Saudi-led military alliance, which has been fighting the group in Yemen for five years, said a ballistic missile fired by Houthis aimed at the Saudi capital, Riyadh, was shot down on Tuesday.
An eyewitness told news agency Reuters that he heard two loud explosions in the capital, Riyadh, early Tuesday morning and saw huge plumes of smoke billowing into the city sky.
The coronavirus pandemic led to a six-week ceasefire agreement between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi rebels, which expired last month. Since then, the level of violence between the two sides has risen again. Since the end of the ceasefire, the Houthis have launched a series of missile and drone strikes targeting various cities in Saudi Arabia. In response, the Saudi coalition has carried out airstrikes targeting the rebel group's bases in Yemen.
A spokesman for the Saudi alliance, Turki al-Maliki, said “a missile fired by Houthis at civilians in Riyadh had been destroyed after being repulsed.”
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, he said that the coalition had intercepted three missiles fired by Houthis in the southern Saudi border province of Najran and Jizan on Tuesday. The rebels also carried out several drone attacks in Saudi Arabia on Monday.
In late 2014, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi was ousted by Houthi rebels and fled to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia launched a military operation against Houthi rebels in March 2015 to bring the fugitive president back to power. The Saudi alliance’s involvement in Yemen’s internal affairs is seen as part of a Saudi-Iranian proxy war in the region.