Saudi Arabia’s air defences intercepted two ballistic missiles above the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, and the southern city of Jizan, the first attack on the kindom’s capital in more than a year.
Military spokesman Turki al-Malki, in a statement quoted by the Saudi Press Agency, blamed the foiled assaults on Yemen’s Houthi rebels and said the missiles were destroyed at 23:23 (20:23 GMT) on Saturday.
Al-Malki said the interception of the missiles resulted in “debris scattering on some residential areas” in Riyadh and Jizan.
The SPA later said “two civilians were slightly injured due to the falling of the intercepted missile’s debris as it exploded in mid-air over residential districts”. Residents in Riyadh reported at least three blasts late on Saturday, followed by emergency vehicle sirens in some northern districts.
Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television said US Patriot missile defence systems were used in the interception.
Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis battling the Saudi-led coalition have launched hundreds of missiles and drones across the border, mostly at nearby military and civilian targets, but also at Riyadh.
The city is about 1,000km (620 miles) north of the border with Yemen, and the last attempted attack on the capital was in June 2018.
A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthis on Sunday said the group’s forces launched rockets and drones at “sensitive” sites in Riyadh and at economic and military sites in Jazan, Najran and Asir, near the Yemeni border.
Spokesman Yahya Saria said Zulfiqar missiles and Samad 3 drones were launched at Riyadh, and other drones and missiles at the southern areas. Saria warned of further “painful operations” against Saudi Arabia if aggression against Yemen continued.
Read full article on Aljazeera, March 29, 2020