Houthi missile attack on Riyadh thwarted, says Saudi Arabia

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Feb 28, 2021, 09:34 AM IST

Representative image Photograph:(AFP)

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At least one home was damaged but no casualties were reported

Saudi Arabia-led millitary coalition said on Saturday that it thwarted a missile attack launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels. Loud explosions shook Riyadh on Saturday. Houthi rebels have intensified their efforts top capture Marib. The last stronghold held by Saudi-backed Yemeni government. Houthi rebels have Iran's backing. Yemen's some of the most richest oil fields are located in Marib.

The Saudi-led coalition said it intercepted a Huthi ballistic missile targeting Riyadh, according to the official SPA news agency.

Fragments of missile scattered over several Riyadh neighbourhood. At least one home was damaged but no casualties were reported, said state-run Al-Ekhbariya television.

AFP correspondents in the Saudi capital reported hearing multiple loud explosions. The night sky lit up with a bright flash following the interception of a missile, state television footage showed.

Separately, the coalition said it intercepted six Huthi drones targeting the kingdom, including the southern cities of Khamis Mushait and Jizan.

Houthi rebels have not immediately claimed responsibility for any of the attacks. The rebels in past, have struck southern areas and have targetted Riyadh with missiles and drones.

The assaults came as Saudi Arabia hosted a Formula E championship on the outskirts of Riyadh, which state media said was attended by de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Houthi rebels have intensified cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia after the US delisted the rebels as terrorists.

The designation, imposed by the administration of former US president Donald Trump, had been widely criticised by aid organisations, who warned it would hamper their efforts to alleviate a humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

US President Joe Biden halted support to Saudi offensive operations in Yemen's war, which he called a "catastrophe" that "has to end". But he also reiterated US support for Saudi Arabia in defending its territory.

(With AFP inputs)