News Analysis |
Yemeni Houthi rebels have taken responsibility for firing a missile near the airport of Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh on Saturday. The Long-range ballistic missile traveled more than 800 kilometers before the missile was intercepted over northeast Riyadh.
The King Khaled Airport was not affected, for the air traffic carried on as per schedule.”Travelers across King Khalid international airport in Riyadh, we assure you that the movement is going on as normal and usual, and trips going according to time,” the airport said on Twitter.
Saudi military sources told SPA that the missile was fired at 20:07 and was destroyed by a surface-to-air Patriot missile.
Spokesman of the Houthi rebels said that the attack was carried using a Yemeni-made, long-range missile called the Burqan 2H.”The capital cities of countries that continually shell us, targeting innocent civilians, will not be spared from our missiles,” the spokesman said.
Earlier, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said that the operation was successful as it shook the capital. Saudi military sources told SPA that the missile was fired at 20:07 and was destroyed by a surface-to-air Patriot missile.
President Trump was pretty pleased with the performance of the patriotic missile in saving the day for his country’s ally in the region.”We make the best military equipment in the world,” he said. “… You saw the missile that went out? And our system knocked the missile out of the air. That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all over the world,” Trump told reporters Sunday aboard Air Force One en route to Japan.
Yemen war and the impending escalation
The Yemen conflict is one of the many battlefields of the age-old proxy war between the two bastions of the Muslim Ummah: Iran and Saudi Arabia. The war started when Houthi rebels took control of the capital Sanaa and began making incursions in the south towards the country’s third-biggest city, Aden in 2014. The Saudi-led coalition of Sunni states militarily intervened in 2015 when Iran-backed Houthis dislodged the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
The Houthis have also hurled dozens of missiles into Saudi territory since the outbreak of the war, to include a ballistic missile shot down near Mecca in July this year.
According to various estimates, more than 10,000 people have been killed mostly due to the relentless use of air power by Riyadh.The UN Human Rights Office has documented 13,829 civilian casualties in Yemen, including 5,110 people killed till August this year.
The Airstrikes by the Saudi forces have often taken out innocent Yemenis, however, the coalition insists that it hits legitimate targets. The Houthis have also hurled dozens of missiles into Saudi territory since the outbreak of the war, to include a ballistic missile shot down near Mecca in July this year.
The missile launch will add to the simmering crisis in the Middle East. Not only will the Saudi-Iran rivalry fester but the US and Iran will most likely ramp up their antagonism. President Trump, who is well-known for his spite for Iran said:“A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia.”
With the US limiting its involvement to the provision of logistical and intelligence support to the Kingdom, the war may last long and get more ferocious.
The Saudi Coalition, without naming Iran accused it of being behind the attack.”This hostile and random act by the Houthis proves that one of the terrorism-supporting countries in the region supports the Houthis,” the statement said.
The Yemen conflict is more of a humanitarian crisis than being immensely important in the strategic chessboard in the Middle East. With the US limiting its involvement to the provision of logistical and intelligence support to the Kingdom, the war may last long and get more ferocious.