Saudi Arabia intercepts missile fired at airport

Marie Harrington
November 5, 2017

A loud explosion has been heard near Riyadh's airport, with unconfirmed reports saying Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile from Yemen.

Saudi Arabia said the missile was shot down by its air defense forces, with fragments of the missile landing in an uninhabited area north of the capital. A missile with a range of more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) was launched toward Riyadh late Saturday, having flown more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) over the border.

A Saudi military spokesman condemned the attack in a statement, saying the missile was sacked "indiscriminately" towards a populated civilian area.

Saudi forces have reported shooting down missiles fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen on multiple occasions this year.

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Yemen has been torn apart by a war between those loyal to the internationally-recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansor Hadi and those aligned with Houthi rebels.

In the past, Saudi Arabia has accused its rival, Shiite power Iran, of training and helping arm the rebels. Iran denies that it has provided material support, though it acknowledges its political support of the Houthis.

Unconfirmed footage uploaded to Twitter appeared to show a volley of at least three missiles being fired from the ground at an undetermined location in Riyadh.

Despite thousands of airstrikes and a blockade of Yemen from the sea and air, the Saudi-led coalition has failed to push the Houthis out, although it does claim to have reduced the territory the rebels control.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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