Saudi Arabia intercepts Yemen missile, as UN says weapons appear Iranian

Saudi Arabia intercepts Yemen missile, as UN says weapons appear Iranian
Saudi Arabia on Thursday intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired from war-torn Yemen, as a UN investigation reveals Yemeni rebels had been using Iran-made missiles.
2 min read
01 December, 2017
The raging Yemen conflict is increasingly spilling across the border [AFP]
Ballistic missiles fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels into Saudi Arabia may have been made in Iran, according to a confidential report by the United Nations sanctions monitors.

The report comes as another missile, the second to hit the kingdom this month, on Thursday targeted the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait but left no casualties, according to Saudi authorities.

The Houthi-run al-Masira television channel said Thursday's missile hit a military target inside Saudi Arabia, but the coalition contradicted that claim. 

"The missile heading towards the city of Khamis Mushait was intercepted and destroyed without any casualties," the Saudi Press Agency quoted the coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki as saying.

The missile came just hours after the rebels threatened to retaliate over a crippling blockade on Yemen.

A Saudi-led coalition against the rebels imposed the blockade, which the UN warns is deepening Yemen's humanitarian crisis, in response to a Houthi missile that was intercepted near Riyadh airport on November 4.

The missile attacks, which could further escalate the coalition's military campaign, underscore how the raging Yemen conflict is increasingly spilling across the border, threatening Saudi towns and villages.

A UN report, seen by Reuters, said remnants of four ballistic missiles fired by Houthis into Saudi Arabia this year were designed and manufactured in Iran.

The report, dated November 24, added "as yet has no evidence as to the identity of the broker or supplier" of missiles, which were probably shipped to the Yemeni rebels in violation of a UN arms embargo from April 2015.

"Design characteristics and dimensions of the components inspected by the panel are consistent with those reported for the Iranian designed and manufactured Qiam-1 missile," the report said.

Iran has previously denied supplying arms to Houthi rebels, calling such allegations "baseless and unfounded".

The Islamic Republic is yet to respond to the UN report.

Agencies contributed to this report.