Yemeni Army Fires Homegrown Missile at Riyadh ahead of Trump’s Visit


Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile fired late on Friday by Yemen’s Houthi opposition at an area southwest of Riyadh, command of the Saudi-led coalition said.

The Houthi movement reported through its official news agency that the Burkan-1 missile had been fired at Riyadh.

Meanwhile, the Saudi military announced that it had intercepted and destroyed a projectile some 200 kilometers west of Riyadh, without giving more details.

Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV said the Arab coalition that intervened in Yemen’s civil war against the Houthis in 2015 were “massively” bombing a missile base outside the Yemeni capital Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis.

The country is mired in malnutrition, starvation and disease as a result of the war, and many fear that the now-unrestrained USA backing for the heavy bombardment of the country by Gulf forces could plunge the people of the country into a humanitarian abyss.

Last month, United Nations Secretary General António Guterres implored the world to ensure “the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid by air, sea and land” into the country to alleviate the suffering of 17 million food-insecure Yemenis caught in “the world’s largest hunger crisis”, which is “man-made” and is starving and crippling “an entire generation”.

The incident occurred a day before U.S. President Donald Trump was expected in Riyadh at the start of his first foreign trip since taking office in January.

High on the agenda will be a series of US-Saudi security deals, with reports suggesting that the Trump administration is prepared to step up non-lethal support for the coalition. The move would mark a significant reversal in policy from former President Barack Obama, who curbed the US’ role in the Yemeni conflict as civilian deaths began to spike.

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