Riyadh – Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted four ballistic missiles launched by Houthi insurgents in Yemen toward Khamis Mushayt and Abha, southwest of Saudi Arabia, early Tuesday.
Saudi-led Arab Coalition command issued a statement saying the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted the Patriot missiles, shot them down, and destroyed them at 6:40 a.m. without causing any damage.
The Coalition air forces then immediately targeted the launching sites in Yemen, the statement said.
The statement added that Houthi insurgents targeting Saudi cities with ballistic missiles represents “the largest evidence of continuing smuggling of weapons to Yemen by all ways and means, especially from the port of Hodeidah.”
UAE condemned the ballistic missile attacks on Saudi cities by Houthi militia and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation issued a statement stating that firing of ballistic missiles against Saudi cities underlines continuation of arms smuggling through Hodeidah, under the control of militias.
The ministry reiterated UAE’s call for an international stance regarding the port of Hodeidah to facilitate humanitarian relief operations and the delivery of international aid.
“Firing ballistic missiles against Saudi cities clearly indicates that the militias seek to undermine political efforts aimed at ending the crisis. The attacks also signify the involvement of regional parties to trigger conflicts and the continuing instability in the region to serve their own agenda,” said the statement.
The Saudi-led Arab Coalition called on the UN to put the strategic port of Hodeidah under its supervision in order to facilitate the flow of humanitarian supplies to the Yemeni people and prevent the use of the port for smuggling weapons.
Since the beginning of operations “Decisive Storm” and “Restoring Hope”, Houthi militias tried to target Saudi Arabia with Scud missiles, but most of them landed in Yemeni territories and some in uninhabited areas in the kingdom.
Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force has a long experience in intercepting missiles no matter their range or size. During the Iraqi-Kuwaiti war, Saudi Air Force shot down several missiles fired by the former Saddam Hussein regime targeting the kingdom.