Saudi Arabia intercepts ballistic missile over capital of Riyadh

WASHINGTON — Yemen’s air force targeted King Khalid International Airport in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Saturday with a ballistic missile, according to Yemen’s Houthi-controlled Defense Ministry.

But the missile was intercepted over northeast Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement carried on Saudi-backed Al-Arabiya television.

Yemen’s Defense Ministry said the missile attack “shook the Saudi capital” and the operation was successful. It also said the attack was conducted using a Yemeni-made, long-range ballistic missile called the Burqan 2H.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of states against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who toppled Yemen’s internationally recognized government in 2015.

The missile attack represents the first time the heart of the Saudi capital has been attacked.

“We previously warned that capitals of countries attacking Yemen will not be safe from our ballistic missiles,” Houthi spokesman Mohammed AbdulSalam said. “Today’s missile attack comes in response to Saudi killing innocent Yemeni civilians.”

The Riyadh airport tweeted that it hadn’t been affected.

“Travelers across King Khalid international airport in Riyadh, we assure you that the movement is going on as normal and usual, and trips going according to time,” the airport said in Twitter.

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