DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia mentioned Saturday it intercepted a missile assault over its capital and bomb-laden drones concentrating on a southern province, the most recent in a collection of airborne assaults it has blamed on Yemen’s insurgent Houthis.
The Saudi-led navy coalition combating in Yemen’s yearslong battle mentioned the Iran-allied Houthis had launched a ballistic missile towards Riyadh and three booby-trapped drones towards the province of Jizan. No casualties or damages had been initially reported. There was no quick remark from the Houthis.
The assault comes amid sharply rising tensions within the Center East, and only a day after a mysterious explosion struck an Israeli-owned ship within the Gulf of Oman. That blast renewed issues about ship safety within the strategic waterways, the place a number of suspected Iranian assaults on oil tankers had been reported in 2019.
State-owned Al-Ekhbariya TV broadcast footage of what seemed to be explosions within the air over Riyadh. Social media customers additionally posted movies, with some displaying residents shrieking as they watched the fiery blast pierce the night time sky, which seemed to be the dominion’s U.S. Patriot missile batteries intercepting the ballistic missile.
The U.S. Embassy in Riyadh issued a warning to Individuals, calling on them to “keep alert in case of extra future assaults.” Flight-tracking web sites confirmed quite a few flights scheduled to land at Riyadh’s worldwide airport diverted or delayed within the hour after the assault.
As Yemen’s battle grinds on, Houthi missile and drone assaults on the dominion have grown commonplace, solely hardly ever inflicting harm. Earlier this month the Houthis struck an empty passenger airplane at Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Abha airport with a bomb-laden drone, inflicting it to catch hearth.
The Saudi-led coalition has confronted widespread worldwide criticism for airstrikes in Yemen which have killed lots of of civilians and hit nonmilitary targets, together with colleges, hospitals and wedding ceremony events.
President Biden introduced this month that he was ending U.S. assist for the Saudi-led battle in Yemen, together with “related” arms gross sales. However he confused that the USA would nonetheless assist Saudi Arabia defend itself towards exterior assaults.
The Houthis overran Yemen’s capital and far of the nation’s north in 2014, forcing the federal government into exile and months later prompting Saudi Arabia and its allies to launch a bombing marketing campaign.