Missile attack on Saudi palace opens new chapter in conflict – Houthi rebels
The Saudi-led coalition has reportedly shot down a ballistic missile targeting a meeting of royal leaders at the Al-Yamama Palace in Riyadh. Houthi rebels in Yemen launched the attack, reports Reuters, citing local media.
There are no reports of injuries, according to the Saudi government’s media Twitter account. State TV reported no damage to buildings or infrastructure. A Houthi rebel spokesman on Twitter confirmed the missile launch Tuesday.
The Saudi-led coalition has carried out retaliatory airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen following the failed attack, reports Reuters, citing Arabiya television.
A plume of smoke was seen rising above the capital and eyewitnesses reported a loud boom that shook windows.
In xibrhe_1’s post on Instagram the smoke cloud left in the aftermath of the Riyadh incident can be seen.
Footage posted on snapchat and verified by RT Digital also shows the smoke cloud left behind following the attempted missile strike.
According to Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdussalam, the rebels allegedly fired a Volcano H-2 ballistic missile towards the Al-Yamama Palace.
The Houthi movement said the missile attack marked the beginning of a new chapter in its conflict with Saudi Arabia. The rebels claimed that Saudi royal palaces as well as oil and gas production and military facilities were well within range of their missiles, in a statement delivered via Houthi-run Al-Masirah television channel.
Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by the Houthi rebels earlier this month after allegedly switching sides to stand against his former allies. Since then, the Saudi-led coalition has intensified its aerial bombardment of Yemen, with the UN Human Rights office confirming the verified killing of at least 136 Yemeni civilians and non-combatants between December 6 and 16.
#Yemen: We have verified that 136 civilians & non-combatants were killed and some 87 injured as a result of airstrikes in Sana’a, Sa’ada, Al Hudaydah and Taizz governorates from 6 to 16 December. https://t.co/lSZUyFm2jt— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) December 19, 2017
The Al-Yamama Palace is the official residence and office of Saudi King Salman and is located in the western suburbs of the capital. It is also the headquarters of the Royal Court. US President Donald Trump stayed at the residence during his visit in May.
The Burkan missile has an estimated range of 800km (500 miles) and is similar to the Scud missile used by the Iraqi military.