Country Risk

Dossier shows ‘Iranian’ missile that landed in Saudi Arabia

17 November 2017
A page from the coalition document shows the remnants of a missile that purportedly landed in Saudi Arabia (left) compared to a photograph of a Qiam that Iran released in 2010. Source: Joint Forces Command of the Arab Coalition

Key Points

  • The Saudi-led coalition has compiled a dossier of evidence of Iranian military support for Yemen’s rebels.
  • It includes photographs of a ballistic missile that landed in Saudi Arabia.

The remnants of at least one Iranian Qiam ballistic missile have been recovered in Saudi Arabia, according to a Saudi-led coalition document obtained by Jane’s .

The document from the Joint Forces Command of the Arab Coalition detailed the evidence that Iran is providing military support to the Yemeni rebels the coalition is fighting. It was dated 5 November, a day after a ballistic missile was intercepted near Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport.

The Saudis announced on 6 November that this and another missile launched into the kingdom on 22 July were made in Iran and had a range of 900 km. The rebels identified both as a new variant called the Burkan-2H.

The coalition document included photographs of a recovered section of one of the two missiles showing it had the same markings as those seen on Qiams, which is a finless ‘Scud’ derivative with a reported range of 800 km. These included the words “clamp here” written in English.

A second photograph purportedly showed one of the four conduits that feed into the steering vanes at the base of the Qiam missile: a distinctive feature of the Iranian missile as these are incorporated into the fins on other ‘Scud’ derivatives.

The document also noted that the warheads seen on the Burkan-2s that the rebels have displayed were the same shape as the ones used on the Qiam and that the launcher briefly seen in a rebel video of a Burkan-1 attack was pulled by a civilian tractor like Iranian systems, not mounted on an all-terrain military vehicle.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN on 6 November that the missile launched on 4 November had a guidance system and aluminium that came from Iran, but this assertion was not repeated in the coalition document.

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