(National Sentinel) Missile Defense: The Saudi Arabian military intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen that targeted an airport in the capital city of Riyadh on Saturday, the first such intercept by a Saudi missile defense system.
According to a report by the government-backed Al-Arabiya television, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said the missile attack “shook the Saudi capital” and the operation was successful. The Yemenis also said the long-range, domestically produced missile was a Burqan 2H.
However, the Saudi government denied that, with officials at King Khalid Airport tweeting that all was well following the attack.
“Travelers across King Khalid international airport in Riyadh, we assure you that the movement is going on as normal and usual, and trips going according to time,” the airport said.
Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab coalition against Iran-backed Houthi rebels after they toppled the Yemeni government in 2015.
“The missile launch on King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh was the first time the heart of the Saudi capital has been attacked and represents a major escalation of the ongoing war in the region,” CNN reported.
The missile defense system was a Patriot PAC-3, which was manufactured and supplied by the United States.
The downing of the Yemen-fired missile won praise from President Donald J. Trump.
“We make the best military equipment in the world,” he said. “… You saw the missile that went out? And our system knocked the missile out of the air. That’s how good we are. Nobody makes what we make, and now we’re selling it all over the world,” Trump told reporters Sunday aboard Air Force One en route to Japan.
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