Iran provided capability for missile attacks from Yemen: U.S. Air Force

Reuters Staff — Nov 10, 2017

Houthis fire missile at Riyadh. Click to enlarge

Patriot missiles are fired to intercept Houthi missiles over Riyadh. Click to enlarge

Iran has provided the capability for ballistic missile attacks launched from Yemen, a senior U.S. Air Force official said on Friday.

Jeffrey Harrigian, commander for southwest Asia at the U.S. Air Forces Central Command, also told reporters while on a visit to Dubai that it was important to find diplomatic solutions to tensions surrounding Lebanon instead of going to war.

“What we have seen, clearly from the results of the ballistic missile attacks, that there have been Iranian markings on those missiles, that’s been demonstrated,” Harrigian said.

“To me, that connects the dots to Iran in terms of who’s providing those missiles and that capability.”

Saudi Arabia, part of a coalition carrying out bombings of the Iran-allied armed Houthi movement in Yemen, has frequently intercepted missiles fired from its neighbor.

Early this month, Saudi air defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen over the capital Riyadh, state news agencies reported. The missile was brought down near King Khaled Airport on the northern outskirts of the city and did not cause casualties, the reports said.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has accused Lebanon and its Shi‘ite Hezbollah movement of declaring war on it. Riyadh has advised Saudi citizens not to travel to Lebanon, or if already there to leave as soon as possible.

“With respect to Lebanon, I think the goal will be to try to find diplomatic solutions,” Harrigian said.

“I don’t want to speak to specifically how the kingdom of Saudi Arabia will deal with that, but I would like to think we will be able to find a solution to that problem that would allow diplomatic efforts to achieve success versus going to war.”

Reporting by Noah Browning; Writing by Andrew Torchia; Editing by Andrew Roche

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Comment — Nov 10, 2017

I’m no “weapons expert” but although linking Iran to the recent Houthi missile attack may seem obvious it may also be entirely incorrect.
Note that the U.S. spokesman provides no evidence whatsoever to substantiate these claims. Perhaps even more significantly, they don’t even specify the type of missile used in the attack on Riyadh.
Yemen’s Houthi-controlled defence ministry said the missile used in the attack was a ‘Burqan H-2’. According to experts at the authoritative Jane’s Defence:

However, don’t expect minor details like that stop allegations about Iranian involvement in the attack. Such claims provide justification for some sort of retaliation against Iran, possibly with substantial military assistance from the U.S. and/or Israel.
So without any hard evidence, these allegations can be used to further U.S. and Israeli policy. Just as claims about Yellowcake and Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction were used to pave the way for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Haven’t we learned from recent history? Or are we going to make the same mistake? Ed.

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