Donald Trump blames Iran after Saudi Arabia is forced to blast a ballistic missile out of the sky as it headed for one of the kingdom’s main airports
Saudi Arabia said its forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen toward one of the kingdom’s major international airports on the outskirts of Riyadh.
A Saudi-led coalition launched a war against the Houthi rebels and their allies in March 2015 that grinds on today, a campaign overseeing by Crown Prince Mohammed.
The missile fire drew an immediate rebuke from President Donald Trump, who blamed Iran in part for the attack from Japan where he is visiting dignitaries.
The missile was destroyed near Riyadh’s King Khaled international airport and was said to be of ‘limited size’.
No injuries or damage were reported.
When The White House made contact with Riyadh, President Trump also thanked the monarch for Saudi Arabia’s military purchases, including a $15 billion investment in the American-made THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system.
Only hours before the missile was shout out of the sky, Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri resigned from his post in a televised address from Riyadh, offering a vicious tirade against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah group for what he said was their meddling in Arab affairs.
‘Iran’s arms in the region will be cut off,’ Hariri said.
Iran-backed Yemeni Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for firing missile, which was targeting the airport, the Huthis’ Al-Masirah television said.
Yemen, Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbour, has been ripped apart by a war between the Saudi-backed government of president Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Huthi rebels backed by Iran.
A Saudi-led coalition became involved in 2015 to help prop up Hadi’s government after Shiite Huthis seized the capital Sanaa.
Rebels continue to hold much of Yemen and the United Nations has warned the country is on the brink of famine.
The intergovernmental organisation has failed to agree a peace deal to end the fighting, which has left more than 8,600 people dead since the coalition entered the conflict.
More than 2,100 people in Yemen have been killed since a chlorea outbreak in April as hospitals struggled to secure basical supplies amid a coalition air and sea blockade.
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