Saudis intercept ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh

2017-11-04 22:53
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Riyadh - Saudi Arabia on Saturday intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile over Riyadh after it was launched from conflict-torn Yemen, with debris landing inside the capital's international airport, officials said.

Residents in Riyadh reported a loud bang near the airport after the missile, claimed by Iran-backed Huthi rebels, was shot down, but authorities reported no major damage or loss of life.

The attack underscores the threat posed by the raging conflict in Yemen, increasingly spilling across the border since a Saudi-led coalition began its military intervention in 2015.

Civil aviation authorities said the airport was functioning normally and that flights were operating as scheduled.

Conflict could drag on

Yemen's Shi'ite Huthi rebels, who fired the missile from Yemeni territory more than 1 200km from Riyadh, said they were targeting the airport, according to the Huthis' Al-Masirah television channel.

Saudi Arabia led a 2015 intervention in Yemen to prop up the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after the Huthi rebels forced him into exile.

But two years later, the kingdom appears to be in a quagmire.

Hoping for a quick victory against what it saw as Iranian expansionism in its back yard, Riyadh has so far been unable to remove the Huthis from Yemeni capital Sana'a.

Aside from occasional missiles, Saudi territory has also been hit repeatedly by the rebels' cross-border incursions, raising fears the conflict could drag on yet further.


Read more on:    saudi arabia

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