Saudi Arabia has intercepted a ballistic missile launched by the Yemeni Houthi rebels targeting an airport in its capital, Riyadh, Al-Arabiya television reported citing a statement from the Saudi Ministry of Defense.
The missile was intercepted over northeast Riyadh before reaching King Khalid International Airport.
Yemen’s Houthi-controlled Defense Ministry, on Saturday, claimed that it had targeted an airport in Saudi Arabia’s capital with a ballistic missile. It said the missile attack “shook the Saudi capital” and the operation was successful.
The attack was reportedly conducted using a Yemeni-made, long-range missile called the Burqan 2H, a Scud-type missile with a range of more than 800km. The interception was done by surface-to-air Patriot missile Saudi procured from U.S.
The missile launch on King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh was the first time the heart of the Saudi capital has been attacked and represents a major escalation of the ongoing war in the region.
Saudi has retaliated with airstrikes later in the day targeting Yemen’s capital Sanaa, shaking homes and breaking windows.
Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of states against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who toppled Yemen’s internationally recognized government in 2015.