JEDDAH: Saudi air defense forces intercepted a Houthi militant attack on Wednesday with ballistic missiles and drones targeting the capital, Riyadh, the cities of Jazan and Najran, and Abha airport.
The missiles were aimed at Riyadh and the two southern cities. One armed drone targeted Abha airport and a second drone was heading toward a civilian neighborhood in Jazan.
There was a loud explosion and smoke in the sky over Riyadh as Saudi air defenses successfully intercepted and destroyed the missile.
There were no reports of casualties or damage to property. Iranian-backed Houthi militants have launched dozens of missiles in the past year, aimed at Riyadh and southern Saudi cities.
All have been successfully intercepted and shot down by Saudi air defense forces. However, last month a missile fragment killed an Egyptian expatriate in Riyadh, the first fatality caused by the missile attacks.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting to restore the legitimate government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Yemen has produced evidence that the missiles targeting Saudi Arabia are made in Iran, and the attacks have drawn global condemnation, most recently by the French President Emmanuel Macron this week during Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to Paris.
A coalition spokesman said on Wednesday that the drones used in the most recent attacks were of a type and specification used by the Iranians.
The Saudi-led coalition warned Houthi militants and those who support them that terrorist attacks targeting civilian areas of the Kingdom would not be tolerated, and the coalition would respond in a decisive way.
Those who equipped the Houthis with drone capabilities would also pay a heavy price, the spokesman said.