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Saudi-led Coalition's Spokesman: Ballistic Missile Was Launched from a Mosque towards Mecca - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Jeddah – Houthi leadership is promoting for its news war by firing missiles at Mecca, home to some of Islam’s most sacred sites, and suggesting its victory after it had failed to impose control over Yemeni cities.

Houthis relied in targeting Mecca on their allies; former president Ali Abdallah Saleh and international parties, prominently Iran who is supplying the militias with weapons and long-range missiles.

Houthis tried to attack Mecca by launching a missile which was intercepted and destroyed by the Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) before it could do any damage – about 65km from Mecca.

Military experts believe that the long-range ballistic missile was launched from 500km over the border and was intercepted before it reached Mecca.

These missiles are considered old and inaccurate in targeting locations and don’t have any direct effect. Yet, with Iranian experts to support Houthis, they could develop the performance of the missiles and adjust their range and destructing power.

Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, advisor at the minister of Defense’s office, said nothing proves the lies and deceit of the Houthis more than their attack on the most sacred Islamic site.

Asiri said pointed out that Houthis used Iran’s missile altering techniques, the one which was provided to Lebanese Hezbollah.

Asiri, who is also the Saud-led coalition’s spokesman, told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Houthis’ operations on the Saudi border are not over. He explained that they will continue to try to infiltrate into the kingdom’s territories and launch ballistic missiles, but the RSAF will always be prepared to intercept.

Asiri explained that the missile was launched from a mosque in Saada. He added that Houthis’ slogans are “Death to America! Death to Israel”, meanwhile they target Mecca, Muslims’ holiest land.

He added that when Royal Saudi Forces targeted the location where the missiles were launched, they found it was a mosque.

“These people know no religion and have no morals. They are using mosques, schools, and hospitals for their criminal acts,” he continued.

Asiri reiterated that the coalition will continue to support the legitimacy forces both politically and militarily. He explained that the U.N. and Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed are working on the political part to ensure reaching a settlement in Yemen, while the coalition forces continue to counter the military attacks of Houthis.

A Yemeni source close to the matter said that Houthi leadership has been promoting for Mecca attack and is educating their followers on how to invade the holy site.

According to Deputy Chief of Staff Maj-Gen Naser al-Taheri, Houthis took advantage of the cease-fire to bring more weapons and missiles from Iran.

In September, Yemeni armed forces apprehended different kinds of missiles coming from Tehran, Iran and were intended to be used by militias. The deputy chief praised the important role of the armed forces and the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

Nawaf Al-Faghem, deputy chairman of the security committee at the Consultative Assembly of Saudi Arabia, said that by targeting Mecca, Houthi militias broke all rules and violated all principles.

According to Faghem, this incident only means that Houthis are failing in targeting the security of Saudi Arabia and thus began resorting to such actions.

He added that this confirms they are a terrorist group supported by Iran and axis of evil.

The deputy chairman also commended the Royal Saudi Air Force and explained that this missile is relatively old and can only cause minimal damage at a small area.