Missile Headed for Saudi Palace Is Intercepted

Rebels in Yemen claim responsibility for the attack
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 19, 2017 12:40 PM CST
Missile Headed for Saudi Palace Is Intercepted
In this 2015 photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi King Salman delivers a speech from Yamama Palace in Riyadh.   (AP Photo/SPA)

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels said it intercepted a missile fired over southern Riyadh on Tuesday, which the rebels said was targeting a leadership meeting at the royal palace in the kingdom's capital, Riyadh. It was the second time in as many months that a rebel projectile had reached as far inside the kingdom as Riyadh, per the AP. The Yemeni rebels, known as the Houthis, said they launched a ballistic missile to target Yamama Palace in Riyadh, where King Salman chairs weekly government meetings and receives dignitaries and heads of state from around the world. Saudi State TV said no damage was caused by the intercepted missile. Residents of Riyadh posted videos on social media showing a small cloud of smoke in the sky after hearing a loud explosion.

The coalition later said the missile launch proved the "continued involvement" of Iran in supporting the Houthis." It also repeated its claim that the rebels use "relief work outlets" to smuggle such missiles inside Yemen to target the kingdom. In a televised address, rebel leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said the range of missiles in the Houthi arsenal was being extended. "Our long hand will reach other places, God willing," he said. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, last week displayed what she said was "undeniable" evidence that Iran was supplying the Houthis with missiles. Iran rejected the allegations and has repeatedly denied arming the rebels. The Houthis say their missiles are produced in Yemen.

(More Saudi Arabia stories.)

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