Lately, the Shiite rebels of Yemen are firing a barrage of ballistic missiles targeted and aimed at the Saudi capital. The latest such attack happened around the third anniversary of the kingdom’s led war in Yemen. According to sources, one of the missiles that were targeting Riyadh killed one Egyptian while other two Egyptians sustained severe wounds.
According of statements, the Riyadh causalities were the first in the Saudi Arabian capital since the Saudi led war in Yemen began three years ago. Previous Houthi rockets were only able to claim fatalities and injure persons in the other parts of the kingdom especially in areas close to the Yemeni border.
According to statements made by the Houthis, the missile attack was aimed at the King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh and other important sites around the capital. Observers believe that the missile attack shows the rebel’s ability to strike deep into the heart of the neighboring kingdom. This is seen as an escalation in the stalemated war in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world.
However, the recent barrage of missiles will likely spark new criticism of Iran’s role in the conflict, as reports from Houthis indicate that some of the missiles fired are a type of the missiles that UN and the West say comes from Tehran.
“It received seven ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis at the kingdom, three of them aimed at Riyadh, two targeting Jazan and the other remaining two are for Najran and Khamis Mushait, one for each”, said the Saudi military. The Saudi-owned satellite news channel Al Arabiya aired recorded scenes which showed patriot missile batteries firing at the incoming Houthis missiles.
A Houthis-run satellite news channel, Al Masirah, identified some of the missiles as the Burkan, or Volcano missile. The UN, western countries and the Saudi –led military coalition fighting in Yemen all say the Burkan is characteristic of an Iranian Qiam ballistic missile. It is believed that Tehran either shared the technology or moved the disconnected pieces of the missiles secretly to the Houthis who then rebuilt them.
On Sunday, a top official in the UN children’s agency said that warring sides’ in Yemen and the countries backing them must stop delaying aid deliveries, warning that such practices have contributed to worsening poor nutrition among children, and leading to a very dangerous cholera.
The director of UNICF for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere, spoke as civil war in the Arab world’s poorest country fans further as a power battle between Saudi and Iran, the two regional rivals, compete for more influence in the country.