Country Risk

Houthi missile fired at Riyadh indicates intent to engage targets deep in Saudi Arabia, despite escalation risk

06 November 2017


On 4 November, a Saudi-manned Patriot anti-missile defence system destroyed a ballistic missile south of Riyadh, fired from Yemen by Houthi militants.

The Houthi-run Saba News claimed that the missile was a Burkan-2 (Volcano) ballistic missile, targeted at King Khalid International Airport. According to Saudi media, fragments landed in an uninhabited area of the airport, without causing casualties or damage. A statement released by Saudi state news agency SPA cited “evidence” alleging that Iran was behind the strike, calling it a “potential act of war”.

The statement also announced the temporary closure of all Yemeni ground entry points, airports and seaports, adding that an investigation had been launched to establish how a missile of this type was smuggled into Yemen (with an implication that it was by Iran).

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