Missile launched toward Riyadh

Clay Curtis
March 30, 2020

Saudi air defences intercepted Yemeni rebel missiles over Riyadh and a city on the Yemen border, leaving two civilians wounded in the curfew-locked capital amid efforts to combat coronavirus, state media said Sunday.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said two missiles were intercepted over Riyadh while a third missile was shot down over southern Jizan province.

Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for a September 2019 drone and missile attack on two oil installations that initially halved Saudi oil output, even after the Houthis claimed responsibility.

Initial reports said that the missile was launched toward Riyadh which resulted in debris scattering on some residential areas.

The war is fueled by the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the latter supporting the Houthis.

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The commerce ministry seized 1.17 million masks from a private store in Hail, northwest of the capital, after authorities Wednesday confiscated more than four million masks stored in a facility in the western city of Jeddah in violation of commercial regulations, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi war has claimed more than 100,000 lives since the war broke out. The country is already gripped by what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Observers say the rebels may have used the lull to bolster their military capabilities.

Noting the Houthi support for a ceasefire, as well as an offer last week by the group to release Saudi captives in exchange for Palestinian Hamas members, Hamdi told Al Jazeera: "This is part of a PR offensive to win the wider Arab public opinion outside Yemen ..." The strikes were reported Saturday by Saudi Air Defense officials, who have said they were able to stop each of the attacks.

Yemen's broken healthcare system has not so far recorded a case of the Covid-19 illness, but aid groups have warned that when it does hit, the impact will be catastrophic.

Saudi Arabia is scrambling to limit the spread of the disease at home. There were no deaths or injuries reported.

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