Tim Lister, Ammar Albadran, Hakim Al-Masmari and Eric Levinson — CNN Nov 4, 2017
Yemen’s air force on Saturday targeted an airport in Saudi Arabia’s capital with a ballistic missile, according to Yemen’s Houthi-controlled Defense Ministry.
But the missile was intercepted over northeast Riyadh, the Saudi Ministry of Defense said in a statement carried on government-backed Al-Arabiya television.
Yemen’s Defense Ministry said the missile attack “shook the Saudi capital” and the operation was successful. It said the attack was conducted using a Yemeni-made, long-range missile called the Burqan 2H.
Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of states against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who toppled Yemen’s internationally recognized government in 2015.
The missile launch on King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh was the first time the heart of the Saudi capital has been attacked and represents a major escalation of the ongoing war in the region.
The Riyadh airport tweeted that it hadn’t been affected.
“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.
“We previously warned that capitals of countries attacking Yemen will not be safe from our ballistic missiles,” Houthi spokesman Mohammed AbdulSalam said.
“Today’s missile attack comes in response to Saudi killing innocent Yemeni civilians.”
A senior Yemeni air force official told CNN that the claims that Saudi Arabia intercepted the ballistic missile is false.
“The Saudi regime cannot hide the heavy fires that was seen by thousands of Saudi nationals in the King Khalid Airport premises as result of the Yemeni missile,” the official said.
“This is not the end. Saudi cities will be a continuous target. We are entering a new phase,” he said.