Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of being responsible for Saturday’s ballistic missile launched from Yemen that targeted Riyadh airport, warning that it could be “considered an act of war”
Tensions have been rising between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and predominantly Shiite Iran, which are opposed in disputes and conflicts across the Middle East from Yemen and Syria to Qatar and Lebanon.
On Monday, a Saudi-led military coalition battling Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen said it reserved the “right to respond” to the missile attack on Riyadh at the weekend, calling it a “blatant military aggression by the Iranian regime which may amount to an act of war”. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir also warned Tehran.
Saudi forces on Saturday intercepted and destroyed the ballistic missile near Riyadh’s international airport after it was reportedly fired by Shiite Huthi rebels from Yemen. It was the first attempted missile strike by the rebels to reach Riyadh and threaten air traffic, underscoring the growing threat posed by the conflict on Saudi Arabia’s southern border.
The coalition on Monday sealed off air, sea and land borders in Yemen, where it has been battling rebels in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognized government since 2015.
The Saudi-Iran rivalry also played out this weekend in the resignation of Lebanon’s prime minister Saad Hariri, a protege of Riyadh who said he was stepping down because of the “grip” of Iran and its ally Hezbollah on the country.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah hit back on Sunday, saying Hariri’s resignation had been “imposed” by Saudi Arabia.
Iran rejected Hariri’s words as “baseless” and said his resignation was “designed to create tensions in Lebanon and in the region”. Hariri, who announced his resignation in Riyadh, on Monday met Saudi King Salman and “reviewed the situation in Lebanon”, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. source