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Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi missle over Riyadh

05 November 2017

Saudi forces have reported shooting down Houthi missiles before.

The missile launch on King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh was the first time the heart of the Saudi capital has been attacked and represents a major escalation of the ongoing war in the region.

According to AP, Houthi-owned news outlet Al-Masira reports that the ballistic missile was sacked late Saturday (4 November) from across Saudi Arabia's southern border by Houthi militants in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia is leading a campaign to defeat the Houthis.

The authority said in two tweets that the Saudi Air Defence managed to intercept a ballistic missile towards Riyadh and that the rocket landed on the airport campus and did not cause any significant damage.

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News outlet Al-Masirah said the missile launched Saturday evening was made in Yemen and was the third to be fired toward Riyadh this year. Yemen is 500 or 600 miles south of Riyadh.

A Saudi military spokesman condemned the attack in a statement, saying the missile was sacked "indiscriminately" toward a populated civilian area. The kingdom has also imposed an air and sea blockade on Yemen.

In the past, Saudi Arabia has accused its rival, Shiite power Iran, of training and helping arm the rebels.

But the missile was intercepted over northeast Riyadh, the Saudi Ministry of Defense said in a statement carried on government-backed Al-Arabiya television. It reported the rebels saying the missile was sacked in response to "Saudi-American aggression and crimes against the people of Yemen".

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to prop up Hadi's government after the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi missle over Riyadh