Missile targeting Saudis was Iranian, says US Air Force
Comments further internationalize ongoing conflict in Yemen
A ballistic missile targeting Saudi Arabia recently fired by Yemeni rebels was manufactured by Iran, the top US Air Force official in the Mideast said Friday, supporting earlier allegations from Saudi officials.
“There have been Iranian markings on those missiles” AP reported the official, Lt Gen Jeffrey L Harringian, as telling Journalists in Dubai. He added, “to me, that connects the dots to Iran.
This missile was intercepted on Nov. 4 near Riyadh’s international airport, according to Saudi Arabia, marking the deepest yet intrusion of such a projectile into Saudi territory. The Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry reportedly said that investigators found evidence proving “the role of Iranian regime in manufacturing them.”
The firing of the missile, which was attributed to Yemen’s Houthi rebels, came hours after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri’s surprise announcement last Saturday that he would step down, and just hours before dozens of princes and former ministers were arrested in Saudi Arabia.
It is “not a stretch to believe that Tehran is supporting the Houthi missile program with technical advice and specialized components,” Michael Knights of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy was quoted by AP as writing. “After all, the Houthis have rapidly fielded three major new missile systems in less than two years while under wartime conditions and international blockade.”