Missiles, drones from Yemen 'intercepted' over Saudi Arabia

Missiles, drones from Yemen 'intercepted' over Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia blames Iran for supplying projectiles for rebel missile attacks, a charge Teheran rejects.

Houthi rebels in Yemen has upped the ante on Wednesday, firing ballistic missiles over Riyadh, according to the Houthis, in retaliation for air raids led by a Saudi-led coalition.

Saudi forces said they also destroyed two Houthi drones targeting the cities of Jizan and the airport in Abha, also near the border with Yemen.

The attacks underscore how the Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, continue to retain a range of potentially lethal and disruptive ways to hit the kingdom, despite more than three years of devastating Saudi airstrikes on Yemen to try and roll back Houthi control of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and other northern strongholds.

"An Iranian ballistic missile launched from Sadaa towards Riyadh was successfully intercepted by Saudi Air Defence earlier today", Colonel Turki al Malki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis, said.

An Associated Press reporter in Riyadh heard three loud explosions overhead just before sunset Wednesday.

Riyadh has been the target of frequent missile attacks since March 2015, when Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries launched a military campaign in Yemen against the Houthis, a group of Iran-backed Shi'ite fighters who had seized the capital.

According to weapons monitor Conflict Armament Research (CAR), quoted by Reuters, CAR has evidence that the Qasif-1 drone used in today's strike was made in Iran, "in contrast to Houthi statements". The group unveiled the Qasef-1 drone past year.

"The air force announced the execution of air strikes with the Qasef-1 aircraft on Aramco in Jizan", it said on its Twitter page.

The Houthis claimed to have targeted the defence ministry in Riyadh and a Saudi Aramco distribution facility in Najran.

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