Houthis fire ballistic missiles at Saudi capital and oil sites

Aden—Saudi Arabia’s air defence forces intercepted a ballistic missile over Riyadh on Wednesday, state media said, after at least three blasts were heard and three clouds of smoke were seen in the sky above the capital.

Yemen’s Houthis targeted Saudi Arabia’s defence ministry and other targets in Riyadh with Burkan-2 ballistic missiles on Wednesday, the group’s Al Masirah TV said on Twitter.

There were no immediate reports of damage. Saudi state media said air defences had intercepted a missile over the capital.

Masirah TV also reported the Houthis had fired missiles at Saudi Aramco oil facilities in Najran and Jazan.

The Saudi coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen meanwhile said its air defences had shot down two unmanned Yemeni drones in the south of the country.

The first targeted Abha international airport in Asir province, while the second was approaching a “civilian object” in Jizan province.

The Houthis have said they targeted areas of southern Saudi Arabia with Qasef-1 drones.

According to a 2017 report by Conflict Armament Research, the Qasef-1 is “consistent with descriptions and imagery” of an Iranian drone, the Ababil-T.

Qasefs do not carry missiles but have previously be used as “suicide drones” to target Saudi air defences in Yemen, the research group said.

But the latest use inside Saudi territory appears to have widened Houthi tactics, and comes only weeks after Houthi forces fired several ballistic missiles at Riyadh, killing one civilian.

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