Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Saudis claim Houthi missile was shot down

Yemen's Shiite Houthi rebels said late on Friday they had fired a ballistic missile toward Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, but reports from Saudi Arabia said the missile had been intercepted and destroyed.

Air defence units "intercepted a ballistic missile that was launched by Houthi militias over an unpopulated area", 180 kilometres from Riyadh, the Saudi-led coalition said in a statement.

Back in March 18, the Yemeni army announced that another Borkan-2 missile accurately hit King Salman Air Base, located in the vicinity of Riyadh, in retaliation for the deadly Saudi war on Yemen.

The missile reportedly targeted a non-populated area.

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The Houthi move came a day ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's first visit to Riyadh to attend a Saudi-U.S. conference on Middle East issues. It added that the missile was aimed at Riyadh but gave no further detail. “A huge explosion rocked the Saudi capital of Riyadh and a giant fire outbroke as result of a ballistic missile strike.”.

Saudi Arabia has deployed Patriot missiles to counter such attacks. He is expected to conclude arms deals amounting to $US100 billion, a boon for the US military-industrial complex.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, half of them civilians, and displaced over two million people, according to humanitarian agencies.

According to United Nations officials, more than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed in the conflict to date, while more than 11 percent of the country's total population have been displaced by the fighting.

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