Saudi media says Houthi missiles intercepted over Mecca, Houthis deny

Riyadh – Sana'a (Debriefer)
2019-05-21 | Since 2 Year

Houthi ballistic missile, file

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

Saudi air defense intercepted early on Monday two ballistic missiles over Taif and Jeddah cities, Saudi media reported claiming they were launched by Houthis, who have denied.

The first missile was intercepted over Taif City, while heading for Mecca, and the other over the Red Sea city of Jeddah, Al-Arabiya quoted eyewitnesses as saying.

According to Okadh paper, the Taif missile was downed just before dawn. "This flagrant assault unveils the reality of the Iranian plans to destabilize security and safety of pilgrims in Ramadan."

Users of social media "have circulated footages as the missile was intercepted to the northeast of Taif," said the paper.

While no immediate statement has been officiallyissued by the Arab coalition or Saudi authorities, Houthi group has denied reports.

Houthis do not hesitate to talk publically about their military operations, said rebel spokesman on Facebook.

"We don't need to wait for untrue analyses or claims on our targets," Yahiya Sarie added. This "is not the first time the Saudi regime claims we target Mecca, in an attempt to mobilize support for its brutal aggression on our Yemeni people .. and to cover its crimes against our Muslim people."

The Yemeni official government has rushed to condemn the Houthi "attempt to target Mecca."

"We strongly denounce the missile attempted targeting of Mecca by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias," said the Yemeni information minister.

The "Iran-incited Houthi terrorist attempt to attack Mecca shows the desire of mullahs in Tehran to cause the largest possible number of civilian casualties and to provoke millions of Muslims around the World," Moammar al-Eryani added on Twitter.

On Sunday, Houthis said the Tuesday attack on the Saudi oil pumping stations was just the first out of a "bank of 300 vital targets in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates" leading the coalition in support of the internationally-recognized government of President Hadi.

"The ninth of Ramadan operation comes in inauguration of upcoming military operations," the Sana'a-based Saba quoted a source at the Houthi-run defense ministry.

Among the 300 targets are vital military sites and facilities in KSA and UAE, and coalition bases in Yemen, the source added.

On Tuesday, two Saudi oil pumping stations were attacked in Riyadh region, and the Iranian-backed rebels claimed responsibility,saying they used 7 drones in the attack.

Houthis have vowed to reply to "every crime committed by [coalition] aggression against Yemeni people," noting that once coalition operations stop all their military acts will stop.

Yemen has been racked by an armed conflict that broke out after the Iranian-backed Houthis had ousted the internationally recognized government late in 2014.

The conflict escalated after a Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in the country in March 2015 to reinstate the government of President Hadi.

Yemen 4-year war has triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 14 million people risking famine and some 1.8 million children suffering malnutrition.

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