The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has condemned the Yemeni rebel militias that allegedly aimed a missile at Makkah, the holy city of Islam.
Saudi Arabia claimed it had intercepted the long-range ballistic missile 65km from the sacred city on October 28, sparking denial from the Shia Houthi rebels and their ally Iran.
Had the missile hit, it would have been the biggest strike yet to hit Saudi Arabia, which has been engaged in a series of deadly border clashes with the Houthis since they overthrew the Yemeni government in 2014 and seized large parts of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.
Following the incident, the OIC executive committee has pledged its support to Saudi Arabia and its coalition of allies including the UAE, in their fight against the Houthi rebels.
Delegates accused the Houthi-Saleh militias and those who provide the groups with weapons and ammunition of “disregarding” holy sites, saying that continued attacks would lead to more instability in the Islamic world.
In a meeting held on Saturday, the organisation of 57 member states also “called on all member states to stand united against this heinous aggression and against those supporting its perpetrators with arms,” according to a statement from UAE news agency WAM.
The meeting requested all member states and the international community to take effective measures to prevent the occurrence of such aggression in the future, and to hold those trafficking arms, providing training and extending support to the group.
Following news of the alleged foiled attack, Mohammed al-Bekheity, a Houthi leader, denied that the missile targeted Mecca.
“We do not target civilians and, in turn, we would not target holy areas,” he told Al Jazeera.
Al-Bekheity said the aim behind the coalition’s allegation was to garner sympathy from Muslims and the international community.
The OIC plans to meet again for an emergency meeting in Mecca in two weeks time.