Yemen’s Houthi movement said it fired a salvo of ballistic missiles at the Saudi capital on Wednesday. An attack Saudi authorities said they intercepted in the skies over the city.
The Houthis said the missiles were launched at economic targets in Riyadh, the group’s al-Masirah TV reported. At least four blasts were heard in the city center, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
The Houthis have fired a series of missiles into neighbouring Saudi Arabia in recent months, part of a three-year-old conflict in Yemen widely seen as a proxy battle between the Saudis and Iran.
A spokesman for the Houthi-aligned military Colonel Aziz Rashed told al-Masirah TV channel that the attack on the capital and another area marked “a new phase” and was revenge for Saudi air strikes on Yemen.
“There will be more salvos until this enemy is deterred, understands the meaning of the Yemeni threat and ceases its crimes,” Rashed said.
He did not mention US President Donald Trump’s decision, hours earlier, to pull out of the international nuclear accord with Iran. But there have been fears the US pull-out could exacerbate the conflict in Yemen and other regional flashpoints.
A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 to try and push back the Houthi’s after they ousted the internationally recognised government.
Iran and the Houthis have regularly dismissed Saudi accusations that Tehran is arming the group.
The Houthis are a religious group affiliated with the Zaydi sect of Shia Islam and maintain a stronghold in the northern province of Saada. Originally a peaceful, tribal group the Houthis have found themselves in the middle of international conflict. After a breathtaking rise to power, a Saudi-led coalition stepped in on March, 2015 and began air strikes on Yemen in an effort to stop the Houthis’ advances.
Last month the political leader of Yemen’s Houthi rebels was killed in Saudi-led air strikes on Hudaida province.
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