Yemenis fire ballistic missile at Riyadh ahead of Trump visit
Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah fighters and their allies in the army have reportedly fired a long-range ballistic missile at the Saudi capital Riyadh, a few hours ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Arab kingdom.
According to a report by Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, the Yemeni forces, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, launched a Borkan-2 (Volcano-2) ballistic missile, a domestically modified rocket, aimed at the Saudi capital on Friday evening.
The report also carried a statement by the Yemeni army, saying the missile strike conveyed “a clear and important message that we are all ready to respond to the aggression.”
The report, however, gave no further detail, including the exact impact location, the possible casualty toll and the extent of potential damage inflicted.
Meanwhile, the Saudi military announced that it had intercepted and destroyed a projectile some 200 kilometers west of Riyadh, without giving more details.
Back in March 18, the Yemeni army announced that another Borkan-2 missile accurately hit King Salman Air Base, located in the vicinity of Riyadh, in retaliation for the deadly Saudi war on Yemen.
On September 2, 2016, Yemeni forces also fired a similar missile against a stationary target in the Saudi city of Ta’if, located more than 700 kilometers southeast of the Saudi capital.
The Yemeni army says so far more than 100 ballistic missiles of various types have been fired at positions held by Saudi invaders inside and outside Yemen.
The Friday launch came just hours before Trump’s arrival in Riyadh for a two-day visit to the Arab kingdom, his first foreign trip since he became president.
Trump has already departed for Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to finalize a $100-billion controversial arms deal with the kingdom. Riyadh has been importing tens of billions of dollars of arms from the US over the past years.
On the second day of his visit, Trump is scheduled to speak at a summit of Arab and Muslim leaders in Riyadh.
After concluding his visit to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, the US president will fly to Israel, another major Washington ally in the region.
Yemenis are particularly angry at Washington for being complicit in the Saudi crimes against the Yemeni nation by providing the Al Saud regime with conventional and banned weapons.
Since March 2015, Saudi warplanes have been heavily bombarding Yemen in an attempt to crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstate the resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Latest tallies show that the imposed war has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis and wounded thousands more. The Saudi aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.
Nearly 3.3 million Yemenis, including 2.1 million children, are currently suffering from acute malnutrition, while more than seven million people are grappling with starvation. The figures, however, could drastically increase if the Saudi war machine continues to breathe fire on Yemeni people.