Saudi Arabia, Iran Trade Accusations over Yemen

Saudi Arabia has warned Iran that the firing of a ballistic missile by Shia Houthi militias targeting Riyadh airport “may amount to an act of war.”

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir warned Tehran, tweeting that his country would not tolerate “any infringement” on its national security, following a weekend missile attack on Riyadh by Iran-backed rebels in Yemen.

“Iranian interventions in the region are detrimental to the security of neighboring countries and affect international peace and security. We will not allow any infringement on our national security,” Jubeir tweeted.

Meanwhile, Iranian officials accused Saudi Arabia, which is leading a military coalition to counter the Houthi militia, of committing numerous crimes against humanity in conflict-stricken Yemen.

In a statement on Monday, Bahram Qassemi, spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry, said the claim of Iranian responsibility for the missile launch late on Saturday, which was claimed by the Houthi rebels, was “malicious, irresponsible, destructive and provocative”.

“Yemeni response is an independent one and a result of Saudi Arabia’s aggression, one which is not carried out or provoked by any other country,” said Qassemi.

“The Saudis, who have failed to achieve their evil goals during long-term military aggression against Yemen, are making more problems for their defeated coalition with a clumsy psychological operation to make baseless and totally false accusations,” he added, before calling for talks between rival Yemeni factions to end the conflict.

Saudi forces on Saturday intercepted and destroyed the ballistic missile near Riyadh’s international airport after it was reportedly fired by the Shia Houthi rebels from Yemen.

It was the first attempted missile strike by the rebels to reach Riyadh and threaten air traffic, underscoring the growing threat posed by the conflict on Saudi Arabia’s southern border.

The coalition on Monday sealed off air, sea and land borders in Yemen, where it has been battling rebels in support of the President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognized government since 2015.


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