An Egyptian died and two other civilians were injured in Riyadh on Sunday after Saudi Arabian defence forces shot down seven missiles that Houthi rebels in Yemen fired at Saudi locations. Shrapnel from an intercepted missile killed the Egyptian in a suburb of Riyadh, Al Jazeera reported.
A Saudi Arabia-led coalition has been fighting on Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi’s side against Houthi rebel forces since March 2015. Sunday marked the war’s third anniversary. Thousands have died and millions have have been displaced in Yemen since the coalition got involved in the country’s civil war.
A spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition, Colonel Turki al-Maliki, said three of the seven missiles launched on Sunday were aimed at Riyadh. Houthi rebels fired the other missiles at airports in the southern Saudi Arabian cities of Najran, Abha and Jizan.
Muhammad al-Bukhaiti, a spokesperson for the Houthis, told Al Jazeera that the missiles were launched “in response to the bombing of Yemeni cities and the siege of the Yemeni people”.
Earlier on Sunday, Yemen’s Houthi rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi had said they would use “long-range weaponry” and “recruit more fighters” in the war against Saudi Arabia. “In the fourth year of the war, we will use more developed and more diverse missile systems, which will overcome all American and non-American air defence systems to target Saudi Arabia,” he said in a televised speech.
In recent months, Houthi rebels have fired several missiles into Saudi Arabian territory. On Sunday, the group said it had aimed at a number of locations in Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, the BBC reported.
“This aggressive and hostile action by the Iran-backed Houthi group proves that the Iranian regime continues to support the armed group with military capabilities,” the spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition said.