Saudi Arabia is blaming Iran for Yemen Shiite rebels launching a ballistic missile at its capital, Riyadh, warning it could be “considered as an act of war.”
That’s according to a statement early Monday from the Saudi-led coalition now battling Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen on behalf of its internationally recognized government.
The statement said: “Iran’s role and its direct command of its Houthi proxy in this matter constitutes a clear act of aggression that targets neighboring countries, and threatens peace and security in the region and globally. Therefore, the coalition’s command considers this a blatant act of military aggression by the Iranian regime, and could rise to be considered as an act of war against the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
The statement adds: “The coalition command also affirms that the Kingdom reserves its right to respond to Iran in the appropriate time and manner.”
Iran has backed the Houthi rebels, but denies arming them. There was no immediate response from Iran over the Saudi threat.
Closed land sea and air ports
A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen says it has closed the land, sea and air ports of the Arab world’s poorest country after a rebel-launched ballistic missile targeted Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh.
A statement early Monday accused Iran of supplying Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies with the ballistic missile. The Houthi militants have said their Volcano variant missile is locally produced.
Iran has backed the Houthis, but denies arming them.
The Saudi-led coalition’s statement says the closures will be temporary and “take into account” the work of humanitarian and aid organizations.
The war has claimed more than 10,000 lives and driven the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine.