Arab coalition begins legal steps to revoke immunity after Houthi missiles target Riyadh

Arab coalition begins legal steps to revoke immunity after Houthi missiles target Riyadh
The coalition on Monday shot down several missiles targeting Riyadh. (SPA)
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Updated 07 December 2021

Arab coalition begins legal steps to revoke immunity after Houthi missiles target Riyadh

Arab coalition begins legal steps to revoke immunity after Houthi missiles target Riyadh
  • Shrapnel from one of the intercepted missiles landed in some residential neighborhoods, without causing any damage
  • Coalition vows to ‘strike with an iron fist,’ and launches large-scale operation against Houthi militia

RIYADH: The Arab coalition said they have started legal steps to revoke immunity in accordance with international humanitarian law, Al Ekhbariya reported early on Tuesday.

The move comes after the coalition downed three ballistic missiles targeting the Saudi capital Riyadh on Monday.

The coalition said they carried out airstrikes on legitimate military targets in Yemeni’s capital Sanaa in the early hours of Tuesday morning and warned civilians not to gather around or approached the targeted sites.

Caves on the outskirts of the city and warehouses used to store weapons were among the sites targeted.

The coalition said the Houthis must return civilian facilities back to civilians and stop using the sites for military purposes.

The Iran-back militia is using civilian facilities in order to attack civilian targets in the Kingdom and Yemen, the coalition said.

Moammar Al-Eryani, Yemen’s information minister, said the militia were using civilians as human shields.

Monday evening’s targeting of the Saudi capital is just one in a long line of attempts by the Houthi militia to target civilian population centers in the Kingdom.

Houthi actions against civilians has been condemned by the Kingdom’s leadership repeatedly, calling them tantamount to war crimes.

Saudi Ministry of Defense spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki said that shrapnel and fragments from one of the missiles that was intercepted landed in some residential neighborhoods, without causing any damage.

Al-Maliki said that “this barbaric and irresponsible behavior by the Houthi militia to attempt to target civilians and civilian objects in a systematic and deliberate manner contradicts humanitarian principles and violates international humanitarian law and its customary rules.”

He added that the defense ministry will take necessary and deterrent measures, in accordance with international humanitarian law, to protect its territory, national capabilities, civilians and infrastructure, and stop such hostile and cross-border attacks.

The Arab coalition has been supporting the internationally recognized Yemeni government regain full control of the country after the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.

On Monday evening, the coalition said air defenses intercepted and destroyed another ballistic missile targeting the southern city of Khamis Mushayt, as well as a drone that was destroyed in Yemeni airspace.

“In response to the threat, we will start implementing a large-scale operation against the Houthi militia, and to protect civilians, we will strike with an iron fist, within the framework of international humanitarian law,” the coalition said in a separate statement.

The militia has launched several drones toward the Kingdom’s southern region since Sunday, sparking condemnation from regional countries and organizations.

The US State Department condemned the attacks and said it supports the Kingdom in defending its security, adding the Houthis are the obstacle to any diplomatic solution to the Yemeni crisis.

Nayef Al-Hajraf, secretary-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council, denounced the continuation of these terrorist attacks by the Houthi militia targeting innocent civilians, saying they were a flagrant violation of international laws.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and Djibouti also issued statements condemning the attempted attacks on the Saudi capital, and also said they supported the Kingdom in all measures it takes to preserve its security, stability and sovereignty.

They called on the international community to take quick and decisive measures to deter these threats and hold the perpetrators accountable.

The Houthis launch frequent cross-border attacks targeting populated areas, airports and oil installations, threatening global energy supplies and endangering lives.

In March, Saudi Arabia launched a wide-ranging initiative to bring peace to Yemen, deliver aid to its people and end the country’s seven-year war. The plan, known as the Riyadh Initiative, includes a nationwide ceasefire supervised by the UN and the reopening of Sanaa airport. That proposal was rejected by the Houthis.