Saudis intercept rocket fired at Riyadh by Houthi rebels in Yemen
Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen over the capital Riyadh on Saturday, various government-linked media outlets reported.
Earlier, residents in the east of the city reported hearing the sound of an explosion. The Al Arabiya network said there were no reports of injuries and reported that the capital's King Khaled international airport was operating as normal, despite debris from the missile falling inside the perimeter.
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.
The claim was broadcast on Al-Masirah television.
Footage uploaded to Twitter appeared to show a volley of at least three missiles being fired from the ground into the air at an undetermined location in Riyadh.
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.
"The missile was launched indiscriminately to target the civilian and populated areas... Shattered fragments from the intercepted missile landed in an uninhabited area of the airport and there were no injuries," he added.
The incident came a few hours after Lebanon's prime minister Saad Hariri spectacularly announced his resignation in a fiery speech televised from the Saudi capital, where he tore into what he called Iran's attempts to wrest complete control of Lebanon.
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.
United Nations-backed talks have failed to broker a political settlement to end the fighting, which has left more than 8,600 people dead since the coalition intervened.
A cholera outbreak has claimed more than 2,100 lives in Yemen since April as hospitals struggle to secure supplies amid a coalition air and sea blockade.
The United Nations has warned Yemen now stands on the brink of famine.
AFP contributed to this report.
You need to be logged in in order to post comments. Sign up or log in
YHVH, please keep the people of Yemen do they can have their basic needs met and even to be lead by your Shalom. Cause a New Wave of your Shalom to wash over the land. May those who seek to live in your Shalom establish control over the region and administer balance to the area.