Yemen’s Houthi movement said it had fired a ballistic missile toward the Saudi capital Riyadh and the Arab coalition waging war in Yemen said it had intercepted and destroyed a projectile around 200 km west of the city. The incident occurred a day before U.S. President Donald Trump was expected in Riyadh at the start of his first foreign trip since taking office in January.
The Iran-allied Houthis launched a Burkan-1 missile towards Riyadh, a statement by their official news agency said. It Riyadh but gave no further detail. The Saudi-led coalition said later it had downed a Houthi missile in the southern Saudi province of Ar Rayn well to the west of Riyadh. The area is open desert and there were no casualties, the official Saudi news agency SPA said.
Mr. Trump expected to conclude important security and trade deals in his meetings with top Saudi officials in Riyadh. The Trump administration is considering stepping up non-lethal support, such as intelligence, for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, reversing a policy by ex-President Barack Obama who curbed the U.S. role due to mounting civilian deaths.
Fearing a spread of Iranian influence in the Arabian Peninsula, Gulf Arab countries are fighting to end Houthi control over most of Yemen’s main population centers and restore its internationally recognized government to power.