World

Yemen fires missiles into Saudi Arabia in retaliation for death of top Houthi official

Yemen's Houthi movement has fired ballistic missiles at what it called "economic and vital targets" in the southern Saudi province of Jizan, where Saudi authorities said a man was killed by debris from the projectiles.

Key points:

  • Houthis said they launched eight ballistic missiles at "economic and vital targets"
  • Riyadh said it intercepted four of the projectiles
  • Eyewitnesses in Sanaa reported Saudi-led air raids over the capital during the funeral

The attack appeared to be retaliation promised by Yemen's dominant political faction, as thousands attended a funeral in the Houthi-run capital Sanaa for a top Houthi official killed in a Saudi-led air strike last week.

The Houthis said they launched eight ballistic missiles at "economic and vital targets" in Saudi's Jizan province on Saturday.

Riyadh said it intercepted four of the projectiles.

Jizan civil defence spokesman Colonel Yahya Abdullah al-Qahtani said on Arabiya TV that one Saudi man was killed by "falling fragments of military projectiles."

A picture accompanying the Arabiya TV report appeared to show the outside of a civilian home pockmarked by shrapnel.

Guard salute as others carry coffin draped in Yemen flag.

The missile launch came as thousands attended the funeral of al-Samad, who held the post of president in the Houthi-backed political body.

He was the most senior official to be killed by the Western-backed alliance, which had offered a $20 million reward for any information that led to his capture.

Top officials in the Houthi government attended the funeral proceedings on Saturday morning including Mahdi al-Mashat, who was appointed to replace al-Samad.

Eyewitnesses in Sanaa reported Saudi-led air raids over the capital during the funeral but without reporting any casualties.

In a televised speech, Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi vowed that the death of al-Samad — a relative moderate who helped oversee political and administrative duties while the Houthi military wing pursued fighting — would not split its ranks.

"They anticipated that this crime would break the spirit of the Yemeni people … Our enemies have fantasised that the assassination of the president will lead to disagreements within the Ansarullah (Houthis). All this is a mirage and illusions."

In March, a Saudi interceptor missile appeared to veer off course and crash.

The Houthis have fired more than 100 ballistic missiles into the kingdom, causing few casualties but fuelling accusations by their adversaries and the United States that Iran is providing the missiles to their Houthi allies.

Tehran and the Houthis deny the accusation.

The group says it is fighting for Yemen's sovereignty against a Western-backed plot to dominate the country.

Reuters

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *