16:29 GMT05 March 2021
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    The Persian Gulf countries heavily criticized Iran for the support of the Shia Houthi movement, officially called Ansar Allah, which has launched a ballistic missile toward Mecca.

    DUBAI (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the Saudi-led Arab coalition said that the ballistic missile launched by the Houthi rebels toward Mecca was intercepted by Riyadh and destroyed some 40 miles away from Mecca without much damage.

    "The Iranian regime supports the terrorist organization, which launches missiles toward the holy Mecca. Is this regime really Muslim, as they call it?" UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Nahyan wrote on his Twitter page.

    ​Meanwhile, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said via Twitter that the rebel group backed by Iran and army units loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh insulted not only the country of holy places, but the religion of Islam and the feelings of Muslims all over the world.

    ​Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani stressed that the attack against the holy Mecca was, first of all, a betrayal of God, and then a threat to peace and stability in the region.

    Abdul Latif Zayani, the head of the Gulf Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (CCASG) called the incident the further proof that the Houthi rebels with Saleh’s supporters refused to comply with international community demands and ignored the efforts to settle the Yemeni crisis.

    Yemen has been engulfed in a violent conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement, who are backed by army units loyal to Saleh.

    Since March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request.


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