Houthi rebels launch drone strike on Saudi-owned oil facility

12 April, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Diane Mills
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Last month the Saudi army intercepted seven missiles over Riyadh launched by the rebels.

Saudi Arabia's air defence forces have intercepted three ballistic missiles fired at Riyadh and other cities by Yemen's Houthis who have stepped up attacks recently, threatening to escalate a rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

One of the drones was targeting the Abha global airport in Asir province, which led to a temporary suspension of air traffic, and a second was approaching a "civilian object" in Jizan province, Colonel Turki al-Malki said in a statement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

An Associated Press reporter in Riyadh heard three loud explosions overhead just before sunset Wednesday.

"The missile force carried out a large-scale ballistic missile attack on various parts of Saudi Arabia", Al Masirah said.

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Wednesday's missiles followed the downing of two Houthi drones earlier in the day in Jizan and the nearby Saudi city of Abha, the coalition said.

One of the targets of the strikes was the Saudi Defence Ministry in the capital, the armed group's Al Masirah TV said on Twitter. Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of funding and arming the rebel movement, a charge Iran has denied.

"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 previous year.

The arms monitor Conflict Armament Research (CAR) said it had evidence showing the Qasef-1 and other Houthi kit was made in Iran and was not of indigenous design and construction "in contrast to Houthi statements". While missile strikes against Riyadh are growing in frequency, the Houthis have more often targeted southern Saudi border cities and towns.

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