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Saudi coalition confirms longest-range Yemeni ballistic missile attack to date

11 October 2016
A still from footage released on 2 September shows a 'Scud'-type ballistic missile labelled as a Burkan-1. Source: Al-Masirah TV

The Saudi-led coalition released a statement on 10 October saying that a ballistic missile launched from Yemen at the city of Taif had been intercepted, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The SPA reported that the missile was launched from the north of Sadah province on the evening of 9 October and that a second ballistic missile was also intercepted after it was launched from Sanaa towards the Yemeni province of Marib. The coalition has a base outside the city of Marib that is protected by Patriot air defence systems.

Yemen's SABA news agency, which is supportive of the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) and allied military forces, reported that a Burkan-1 ballistic missile has been launched against King Fahd Air Base, which is about 25 km northeast of Taif. "The rocket hit the target accurately, inflicting heavy losses in the base," it claimed.

The existence of the Burkan-1 was announced on 2 September, when SABA reported that Yemen's missile force had developed a new weapon with a range of 800 km. Al-Masirah broadcast footage showing three 'Scud'-type missiles labelled as Burkan-1s.

Taif is more than 500 km from the Yemeni border, making this the longest-range ballistic missile attack recorded since Saudi Arabia and its allies launched their military intervention in Yemen in March 2015.

The SPA has previously reported at least 18 ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia that have been intercepted since 6 June 2015, all of them in the southern provinces of Asir, Jizan, and Najran.

The longest-range ballistic missile attack claimed by Yemen's rebel alliance to date targeted Saudi Arabia's Al-Sulayyil missile base on 29 June 2015. The base is more than 350 km from the border, but the claim was not corroborated by the coalition.

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