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Houthis unveil first solid-propellent ballistic missile with range to reach Israel

A still from the Ansar Allah video shows the Filasteen ballistic missile being elevated into a slightly slanted launch position. (Ansar Allah)

The Yemeni rebel group Ansar Allah (commonly known as the Houthis) released a video showing its Filasteen (Palestine) ballistic missile for the first time on 5 June.

The Iranian-backed group provided no performance figures for the Filasteen, saying only that it is a long-range, solid-propellent, and locally produced ballistic missile. It also obscured the launcher and the background in the video, which showed a previously unseen type of missile being launched, purportedly at the Israeli port of Eilat on 3 June.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported that its Arrow air-defence system intercepted a surface-to-surface missile that was launched from the Red Sea region towards Eilat on 3 June.

Eilat is a little less than 1,600 km from Houthi-controlled territory, but a ballistic missile would need a longer range to reach the Israeli city as its launcher would not be able to reach the border due to past bombing of bridges on the limited road network running through the mountainous terrain in northern Yemen.

The IDF has reported that the Arrow system has intercepted seven ballistic missiles launched towards Eilat since 31 October 2023, but did not report the attack Ansar Allah claimed to have carried out on 25 April.

Ansar Allah has not named the missiles used in these earlier attacks on Israel, but released a video on 1 November showing what appeared to be the type it refers to as the Zulfiqar being launched, purportedly at Eilat.

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