- Aug 6, 2009
Missile attack on Saudi palace opens new chapter in conflict – Houthi rebels
Published time: 19 Dec, 2017 11:13Edited time: 20 Dec, 2017 07:32
Buildings are seen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia © Faisal Al Nasser / Reuters
The Saudi-led coalition has reportedly shot down a ballistic missile targeting a meeting of royal leaders at the Al-Yamama Palace in Riyadh. Houthi rebels in Yemen launched the attack, reports Reuters, citing local media.
There are no reports of injuries, according to the Saudi government’s media Twitter account. State TV reported no damage to buildings or infrastructure. A Houthi rebel spokesman on Twitter confirmed missile launched tuesday.
The Saudi-led coalition has carried out retaliatory airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen following the failed attack, reports Reuters, citing Arabiya television.
A plume of smoke was seen rising above the capital and eyewitnesses reported a loud boom that shook windows.
In xibrhe_1’s post on Instagram the smoke cloud left in the aftermath of the Riyadh incident can be seen.
Footage posted on snapchat and verified by RT Digital also shows the smoke cloud left behind following the attempted missile strike.
According to Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdussalam, the rebels allegedly fired a Volcano H-2 ballistic missile towards the Al-Yamama Palace.
© Google maps
The Houthi movement said the missile attack marked the beginning of a new chapter in its conflict with Saudi Arabia. The rebels claimed that Saudi royal palaces as well as oil and gas production and military facilities were well within range of their missiles, in a statement delivered via Houthi-run Al-Masirah television channel.
READ MORE: 10 women killed in Saudi airstrike targeting wedding procession in Yemen – report
Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed by the Houthi rebels earlier this month after allegedly switching sides to stand against his former allies. Since then, the Saudi-led coalition has intensified its aerial bombardment of Yemen, with the UN Human Rights office confirming the verified killing of at least 136 Yemeni civilians and non-combatants between 6 to 16 December.
The Al-Yamama Palace is the official residence and office of Saudi King Salman and is located in the western suburbs of the capital. It is also the headquarters of the Royal Court. US President Donald Trump stayed at the residence during his visit in May.
READ MORE: Trump visits Saudi Arabia in first official foreign trip amid Yemen & human rights controversies
The Burkan missile has an estimated range of 800km (500 miles) and is similar to the Scud missile used by the Iraqi military.