The Saudi-coaliton in Yemen has intercepted a missile fired by Houthi rebels targeting residential areas to the south of Riyadh, according to a state news service.
The launch is the first since US envoy to the United Nations (UN) Nikki Haley presented evidence last week claiming to show that the Houthi forces were being supplied short-range ballistic missiles by Iran.
The interception was first confirmed in a tweet by the Centre for International Communication. No damage or loss of life was reported.
Coalition forces confirm intercepting an Iranian-Houthi missile targeting south of Riyadh. There are no reported casualties at this time. pic.twitter.com/31HUczMl21
— CIC Saudi Arabia (@CICSaudi) December 19, 2017
Coalition spokesperson colonel Turki al-Maliki later told Saudi Press Agency that the missile was launched “indiscriminately and absurdly to target the civilian and populated areas” and proved Iran’s support of the Houthi’s in breach of international law, echoing comments from Haley last Thursday.
The US envoy used a presentation of missile wreckage at the Joint Base Anacostia in Washington DC to attempt to convince Congress and UN members of the threat represented by Iranian missile proliferation.
She said the supply of the missiles was a violation of a UN resolution. Iran denied the claims.
The UN said earlier this month that missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by the Houthis had a “common origin” but it was still investigating.
In further comments, Haley said the latest attack “bears all the hallmarks of previous attacks using Iranian-provided weapons”.
“We must all act cooperatively to expose the crimes of the Tehran regime and do whatever is needed to make sure they get the message. If we do not, then Iran will bring the world deeper into a broadening regional conflict,” she told the UN Security Council.
Saudi Arabia entered the Yemen civil war on the side of the internationally-recognised government in 2015 and has reported frequent missile attacks from opposition forces led by the Houthis.
The kingdom previously used a November 4 missile attack that was fired towards Riyadh’s airport to justify a blockade of Yemen’s entry points.
Another attack was reported at the end of last month.
The Yemen conflict has killed at least 10,000 people.