Saudi forces intercept Riyadh-bound Houthi missile

Saudi Arabia says it has intercepted a missile fired towards the country’s capital, Riyadh, from neighbouring Yemen.

Houthi rebels said they launched the ballistic missile targeting al-Yamama royal palace in Riyadh on Tuesday, according to Mohamemd Abdul Salam, a Houthi spokesperson.

It was the third ballistic missile attack by the Houthis since beginning of November.

On November 4, a missile was launched towards an area near Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, prompting Saudi to accuse Iran – who it blamed for the launch – of committing an “act of war”.

Another missile likely targeted the city of Khamis before it was intercepted on December 1.

In an interview with Al Jazeera in November, Mohammed Abdul Salam, a spokesman for the Houthi rebels, threatened to escalate operations on the Yemeni-Saudi border and target deep inside the kingdom.

“The Saudis started the war. Our response will continue and increase, whether it’s targeting deep inside Saudi Arabia, targeting military positions where Saudi jets fly from, or military bases inside Yemeni territory,” Abdul Salam said.

Dozens of smaller missiles have been fired from Yemen into Saudi Arabia throughout more than two years of war in Yemen, while Saudi Arabia, supported by the United States and other countries, has launched thousands of air attacks against Houthi targets.

Accusing Iran of helping to arm the Houthis during the conflict, the Saudi-led coalition has closed air, land and sea routes.

The war in Yemen is one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, killing at least 10,000 people and leading to widespread hunger and disease.

Last week, Saudi Arabia allowed humanitarian aid to enter the country for the first time in three weeks.