00:24 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh with the 'Kingdom Tower'

    Saudi Arabia Intercepts Ballistic Missile Fired by Houthis Toward Riyadh

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    Middle East
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    Yemeni Houthi rebels have announced the launch of a ballistic missile targeting Saudi Arabia's capital, Riyadh, according to a statement by the movement's spokesman on Twitter.

    "[Saudi-led] Coalition forces confirm intercepting an Iranian-Houthi missile targeting south of Riyadh. There are no reported casualties at this time," the state-run Center for International Communication wrote on its Twitter account.

    The Volcano 2-H missile launched by the Yemeni rebels allegedly targeted the al-Yamama royal palace, according to a statement of the Houthis' spokesperson, Mohammed Abdussalam, on Twitter. At the same time, Houthi-controlled television has claimed that the missile targeted a meeting of Saudi leaders in the palace, while the coalition said that the attack targeted residential areas in the city, adding that there have been no reports of any damages so far.

    The Saudi-led coalition has accused the Yemeni rebels of using humanitarian entry points to smuggle "Iranian missiles," while Tehran has not yet issued a response to the statement.

    Houthi rebels have threatened Riyadh that they would carry out missile strikes on Saudi Arabia's military and oil infrastructure, calling the earlier missile launch "a new stage of resistance."

    READ MORE: Confidential UN Brief Reveals No Missiles Sent to Houthis by Iran — Reports

    According to the Houthi movement's statement which reads that "the Yemenis' blood will not be shed in vain," Tuesday's missile is timed to the 1,000-day mark since the Yemeni conflict began.

    According to Al Arabiya broadcaster, the Saudi-led coalition struck a post operated by the Houthi rebel movement south of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa after the Patriot missile defense system had intercepted the Houthi missile.

    The reports of a missile launch followed tweets by witnesses suggesting that a blast had been heard in the Saudi capital. While the information could not be immediately verified, the possible connection to the Houthis' firing a missile remains unclear.

    Saudi Arabia's air defenses intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by the Houthis in November. The first missile was shot down on November 4 near the Riyadh international airport, while the second was intercepted on November 30 in the south of the country.

    Following the Houthis' missile launch targeting Riyadh, the Saudi-led coalition which has been fighting in the country since 2015 at the request of the country's internationally recognized leadership, imposed a temporary blockade on all Yemeni ports and airports in order to prevent the delivery of arms to the rebels.

    READ MORE: Iran Summons Swiss Ambassador Over US Envoy's 'Irresponsible' Missile Claim

    While the Saudi Crown Prince has blamed Tehran for the Houthis' missile launch, the Iranian leadership has strongly denied arms supplies to the Yemeni rebels, yet has repeatedly admitted political support for the Shiite movement.

    Responding to Riyadh's accusations which have been echoed by the US president and Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley blaming Iran for alleged arms supplies, President Hassan Rouhani warned Saudi Arabia of the Islamic Republic's "might," emphasizing that the Kingdom is wrong to consider Tehran its enemy.

    ballistic missile, Houthi Rebels, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Yemen
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