The missile launch

Saudi FM accuses Hezbollah, Iran of missile attack

After missile launched by Yemeni rebels lands in Riyadh, foreign minister of Saudi Arabia blames Hezbollah, Iran for the attack, saying it could be considered 'act of war.'

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir on Monday accused Hezbolla and its patron Iran for military escalation against his state, saying the missile fired on Saturday from Yemen and aimed at Riyadh was launched by them, warning they could treat it as an "act of war" by the Islamic republic.



Al-Jubeir told CNN news network on Monday that "the missile launched from Yemen to Riyadh is an Iranian missile launched by Hezbollah, an area occupied by the Houthi rebels."


"It could be considered as an act of war," he added.



Jubeir then tweeted that “Iranian interventions in the region are detrimental to the security of neighboring countries and affect international peace and security. We will not allow any infringement on our national security.”


“The kingdom reserves the right to respond in a timely manner to the hostile actions of the Iranian regime,” he added, echoing warnings by the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen.


Earlier Monday, Saudi-led military coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen said it would close all air, land and sea ports to the Arabian Peninsula country to stem the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran.


The move, which follows the interception of a missile fired toward Riyadh on Saturday, is likely to worsen a humanitarian crisis in Yemen that according to the United Nations has pushed some seven million people to the brink of famine and left more than half a million infected with cholera.


“The Coalition Forces Command decided to temporarily close all Yemeni air, sea and land ports,” the coalition said in a statement on the Saudi state news agency SPA. It added that aid workers and humanitarian supplies would continue to be able to access and exit Yemen.


The United Nations, however, said it was not given approval for two scheduled humanitarian flights on Monday and was seeking clarification on the coalition’s announcement.


The UN and international aid organizations have repeatedly criticized the coalition for blocking aid access, especially to north Yemen, which is held by the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels battling the Saudi-led coalition.


 (Photo: MCT)
(Photo: MCT)


Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies have made clear they view Iran as mainly responsible for the Yemen conflict, in which more than 10,000 people have been killed in the past two years.


Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on his Twitter account on Monday that Riyadh reserved the right to respond to what he called Iran’s “hostile actions”. Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa also tweeted that Iran was the real danger to the region.


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Saudi Arabia was blaming Tehran for the consequences of its own “wars of aggression”.


On Sunday the coalition accused the Houthis of “dangerous escalation (that) came because of Iranian support” after Saudi air defenses intercepted the ballistic missile heading toward Riyadh. It was brought down near Riyadh airport without causing casualties.


'War crimes'  

Iran rejected the criticism as “destructive and provocative”.


Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi “referred to the war crimes and aggression of the Saudis during the past years and said the reaction by Yemenis is an independent reaction ... and not a move caused by another country’s action or incitement”, a ministry statement said.


 (Photo: MCT, EPA)
(Photo: MCT, EPA)


US President Donald Trump has also blamed Iran for Saturday’s missile attack, but the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards rejected that view as “slander”.


The Saudi-led coalition has been targeting the Houthis since they seized parts of Yemen in 2015, including the capital Sanaa, forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee and seek help from neighboring Saudi Arabia.


On Sunday a suicide car bomber blew himself up at a security checkpoint in the southern port city of Aden, killing 15 people and wounding at least 20, residents and a security officials said. Aden is the interim headquarters of Yemen’s internationally recognized government.


פרסום ראשון: 11.06.17, 22:06
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