For the second time in a month, the Saudi military has intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile that was launched from Yemen on Thursday. The missile did not cause any casualties and was headed towards the Saudi city of Khamis Mushait on the Kingdom’s southwestern border, according to reports.
Yemen’s Iran-backed armed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the launch on Yemeni television, calling it a “trial.”
“We confirm the success of our ballistic missile trial, which hit its military target inside Saudi Arabia,” the Huthi-run Al-Masira television channel said.
Meanwhile, evidence is mounting to support Saudi Arabia’s claims that the missiles fired are Iranian-made. According to a confidential report by UN sanctions monitors obtained by Reuters, a independent panel of U.N. monitors “had visited two Saudi Arabian military bases to see remnants gathered by authorities from missile attacks on Saudi Arabia on May 19, July 22, July 26 and Nov. 4…They also visited four ‘impact points’ from the Nov. 4 attack where other remnants of the missiles were identified….Design characteristics and dimensions of the components inspected by the panel are consistent with those reported for the Iranian designed and manufactured Qiam-1 missile,” the Monitors said.
U.N. monitors reportedly “gathered evidence” that the missiles were transferred to Yemen in pieces and assembled there “by missile engineers with the Houthis and allied forces loyal to Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.”