MAKKAH: Yemen’s Houthi militia launched a ballistic missile toward Makkah, home to the most sacred sites in Islam, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.
After the missile launch, Saudi-lad coalition forces destroyed the missile 65 km (40 miles) from the holy city of Makkah without any damage.
As per Saudi authorities Scuds have been launched at Saudi Arabia from Yemen several times, but have been shot down mostly by Patriot missiles supplied by the United States.
The Houthis confirmed the launch of a Burkan-1 ballistic missile into Saudi Arabia in a statement to their official news agency on Friday but said it targeted King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the kingdom’s busiest airport.
It is worth mentioning here that Riyadh is leading a coalition of Arab states which began air strikes in Yemen 18 months ago to restore ousted President Abd Rabbu Mansour al-Hadi, who was driven from the capital two years ago by the Houthis.
The Houthis, fighters from a Shia sect that ruled a thousand-year kingdom in northern Yemen until 1962, are allied to Hadi’s predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh.
In recent fight Houthis have the support of many army units and control most of the north including the capital Sanaa.
Yemen conflict has killed at least 10,000 people, displaced more than 3 million people and brought parts of Yemen, by far the poorest country in the Arabian peninsula, to the brink of starvation.
The Saudis say the Houthis are backed by the kingdom’s enemy Iran. While at the other side, Houthis say they have led a national revolt against a corrupt government, and the country is now being punished by its rich and aggressive Gulf Arab neighbors with US political and military support.