Saudi intercepts a Houthi missile over Riyadh

Saudi intercepts a Houthi missile over Riyadh

The Saudi Arabian-led coalition announced Wednesday that its air defense systems have intercepted Houthi missiles launched toward the capital Riyadh, as residents of the capital posted on social media their accounts of hearing a loud explosion and seeing smoke in the sky.

The channel said in a tweet that the group had launched a "Qasef 1" drone aircraft heading for the Abha airport in the southwestern Saudi city of Aseer.

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.

Last month, the Saudi-led coalition reported it had intercepted and destroyed seven ballistic missiles, fired at Saudi Arabia from Yemen; three of them targeted Riyadh.

Sharaf Lokman, a spokesman for the Houthis, said the attack came after Saleh al-Samad - president of the Supreme Political Council that runs Yemen's capital, Sanaa, and other rebel-held areas - declared the start of "a year of ballistic missiles".




Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco said on Wednesday that operations were running smoothly following an alleged Houthi strike on a facility belonging to the oil giant.

The attacks were claimed by the rebels via their news outlet Al Masirah.

"The air force announced the execution of air strikes with the Qasef-1 aircraft on Aramco in Jizan (province)", the channel said on its Twitter account, referring to a drone the Houthis unveiled past year.

The company is building a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Jizan, part of a new economic city on the Red Sea, which is expected to become fully operational in 2019.

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.

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