Saudi Arabia's Air Defense Reportedly Intercepts Rocket Over Riyadh

Saudi Arabia's Air Defense Reportedly Intercepts Rocket Over Riyadh

Yemen's Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, saying the projectile traveled more than 800km into the kingdom on Wednesday.

One of the drones was targeting the Abha worldwide airport in Asir province, which led to a temporary suspension of air traffic, and a second was approaching a "civilian object" in Jizan province, he said.

Loud blasts were heard in the sky above Riyadh, while two other missiles were intercepted over the southern areas of Jizan and Najran.

The attack on Wednesday marked the fourth time in five months that missiles have flown over Riyadh, as the Houthis step up efforts to demonstrate they can reach the Saudi capital, and threatens to escalate a regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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As the announcement on the missile interceptions emerged, Malki also said in a separate statement that Saudi air defences had shot down two unmanned Yemeni drones on Wednesday in southern Saudi Arabia.

The rebel-run Al Masirah TV channel did not say when the attack took place or give details of any damage.

While Saudi Arabia and its allies have been able to recover areas in southern Yemen from the Houthis, the rebels still control the capital Sana'a and territories in the north.

Qasef 1 is a drone aircraft previously unveiled by the militant rebel group.

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Saudi Aramco operates a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Jizan, part of a new economic city on the Red Sea.

According to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), the Qasif-1 drone is said to resemble Iran's Ababil-2 drone and is the latest in a line of weapons Tehran has allegedly sent the Houthis.

Saudi Arabia, which leads a coalition against the Yemeni forces on request of the country's president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, has been regularly shelled by the Yemeni Houthis.

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