Saudi Air Defense Intercepts Missile Over Najran, Shoots Down Two Drones

Saudi Air Defense Intercepts Missile Over Najran, Shoots Down Two Drones

The Royal Saudi Air Defense intercepted at least one ballistic missile over Riyadh on Wednesday.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia- Saudi Arabia faced a flurry of attempted attacks by Yemen's rebels on Wednesday, with the kingdom's defence forces saying they intercepted missiles that targeted Riyadh and another city, and drones targeting an airport and an Aramco oil facility in the country's south.

Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya TV confirmed Saudi Arabia had been forced to intercept a ballistic missile launched by Yemen's Houthis towards the southern city of Jizan.

Three loud blasts were heard and three clouds of smoke could be seen in the sky above central Riyadh, according to witnesses.

The missile was shot down just hours after Saudi military brought down a Houthi-rebel drone at an worldwide airport in the southern city of Abha.

Saudi Arabia and a coalition of mostly Gulf Arab states intervened in Yemen's civil war in 2015 to try and push back the Houthis after the movement drove the internationally recognised government into Saudi exile.

Wednesday's missiles followed the downing of two Houthi drones earlier in the day in Jizan and the nearby Saudi city of Abha, the coalition said.

After examining the debris, the coalition said it determined it was a Houthi aircraft.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of backing the Houthis, a charge Iran has denied.

Al-Masirah TV said the Houthis used a Qasef-1 drone to disrupt air traffic at Abha airport and to target a Saudi Aramco facility in Jizan in response to what it described as "Saudi-American crimes against Yemenis".

According to Conflict Armament Research (CAR), the Qasif-1 drone is said to resemble Iran's Ababil-2 drone and is the latest in a line of weapons Tehran has allegedly sent the Houthis.