Saudi Arabia says that it has intercepted a second missile fired towards the country by Houthi rebels in Yemen.
Royal Air Force spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki, who spoke to the Saudi Press Agency, said the missile was likely headed to the Saudi city of Khamis Mushait, but Saudi forces intercepted and destroyed it before it could hit its target.
Earlier, Houthi rebels said the missile hit a military target inside Saudi Arabia, without specifying the location. According to a military source quoted in Yemen’s SABA news agency, the “successful test was a new start of locally made missile launches”.
It is the second time in a month that a missile has been launched from Yemen towards Saudi Arabia. On November 4, a ballistic missile was launched towards an area near Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, prompting Saudi to accuse Iran – who it blamed for the launch – of committing an “act of war”.
No casualties were reported in either incident.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, Maliki said the “control of these types of weapons by terrorist organisations, including Al-Houthi armed militias, represents a threat to regional and international security”. He also called the launch “contrary to international humanitarian law”.
After the November launch, a Houthi spokesman had warned that the group was planning to fire more ballistic missiles, noting: “The capital cities of countries that continually shell us, targeting innocent civilians, will not be spared from our missiles.”
In a recent interview with Al Jazeera, Mohammed Abdul Salam, a spokesman for the Houthi rebels, threatened to escalate operations on the Yemeni-Saudi border and target deep inside the kingdom.
Dozens of missiles have been fired from Yemen into Saudi Arabia throughout more than two years of war in Yemen, while Saudi Arabia, supported by the United States and other countries, has launched thousands of air attacks against Houthi targets.
Accusing Iran of helping to arm the Houthis during the conflict, the Saudi-led coalition has closed air, land and sea routes.
Last week, Saudi Arabia allowed humanitarian aid to enter the country for the first time in three weeks.