Saudis intercept Yemen rebel missile targeting royal palace
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP):
The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Shiite rebels said it intercepted a missile fired over southern Riyadh yesterday, which the rebels said was targeting a "top leadership" meeting at the royal palace in the kingdom's capital.
It was the second time in as many months that a rebel projectile had reached as far inside the kingdom as Riyadh.
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.
The statement from the US-backed coalition, carried by Saudi state TV, said the missile was fired by the Houthis. State TV said no damage was caused by the intercepted missile.
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.
'FLASHING RED SIREN'
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said that "the very fact of this attack is a flashing red siren" for the Security Council.
While not all evidence is in, "it bears all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons," Haley told a council meeting on implementation of a U.N. resolution that endorsed the July 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran.
Last week, Haley 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, which is awash with weapons.
Residents of Riyadh posted videos on social media yesterday showing a small cloud of smoke in the sky after hearing a loud explosion.