Saudi Arabia said its air defenses intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen rebels at the royal palace in the capital, Riyadh, an attack that threatens to edge the kingdom and its chief nemesis, Iran, closer to confrontation.
The Iranian-backed Houthi militants said they targeted a meeting of top Saudi officials at the al-Yamamah palace, the official residence of King Salman and headquarters of the royal court. Saudi Arabia is leading a military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen, and shortly after the missile launch, alliance aircraft struck Houthi positions south of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a.
The missile attack, aimed at the very heart of Saudi power, is the most audacious challenge to Saudi Arabia by Iran’s proxy in Yemen. Saudi Arabia and Iran already support opposing sides in conflicts across the Middle East, and after the rebels fired a missile at the international airport in Riyadh last month, the coalition warned that the failed attack could be considered “an act of war against the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
(c) 2017, Bloomberg · Donna Abu-Nasr, Mohammed Hatem