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US says missile fired by Yemeni rebels bore 'Iranian markings'

Yemeni men and security forces inspect the site of a suicide bombing in the southern port city of Aden on November 5, 2017
STRINGER (AFP)
Findings come after Yemeni rebels fired missile at Saudi Arabia earlier this week

A ballistic missile fired by Yemeni rebels at Saudi Arabi reportedly came from Iran, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

According to Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, who oversees the Air Forces Central Command in Qatar, the missile "bore Iranian markings."

Harrigian told reporters at a press conference in Dubai that they are currently investigating how the missile could have been smuggled into Yemen, while the Saudis exert firm control over the country's air space and borders.

The findings come after Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen over the capital Riyadh on earlier this week.

The shooting down of the rocket followed a claim by Houthi rebels in Yemen -- who are engaged in a long-running war with Saudi-backed forces -- that they had fired a ballistic missile at their northern neighbor.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led military forces in Yemen, Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, was quoted by state media as saying the rocket was detected hurtling in from Yemen at 20.07 local time, and that it was blown out of the sky without injuries.

Saudi Arabia's southern neighbor Yemen has been torn apart by a war between the Saudi-backed government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Huthi rebels backed by Iran.

Iran is ideologically aligned with the Shiite Houthis and Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states in the region accuse it of supplying it with cash and weapons.

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.

The rebels continue to hold much of the country and have previously fired ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, however none are known to have made it as far as the sprawling capital in the center of the country.

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