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Saudi-led coalition warns Iran over Yemen missile launch

It could be 'considered as an act of war', says Saudi-led coalition

Image Credit: AFP
Saudi led coalition spokesman Turki Al Malki gives a press conference at the King Salman Airbase in Riyadh.

SANAA, Yemen: The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen closed off the land, sea and air ports to Yemen early Monday after a rebel-fired ballistic missile targeted Riyadh, blaming the launch on Iran and warning it could be "considered as an act of war".

In a statement, the coalition accused Iran of supplying Yemen's Al Houthi rebels and their allies with the missile launched Saturday toward the Saudi capital's international airport.

The Saudi-led coalition's statement said the closures would be temporary and "take into account" the work of humanitarian and aid organizations. The war has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

Coalition threatened Iran

The Saudi-led coalition launched a wave of airstrikes - starting overnight and continuing until noon Sunday - on the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, in response to the ballistic missile. Saudi Arabia said it shot down the missile, with fragments landing in an uninhabited area north of the capital.

The coalition threatened Iran with a possible retaliatory strike.

"Iran's role and its direct command of its Al 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," the statement said. "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."

Trump statement

The statement added: "The coalition command also affirms that the kingdom reserves its right to respond to Iran in the appropriate time and manner."

There was no immediate response from Iran, though Iran's defense minister, Gen. Amir Hatami, earlier denied his country was involved in the launch.

President Donald Trump also was blamed Iran on Sunday. "A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. And our system knocked it down," Trump said, referring to the Patriot missile batteries Saudi Arabia purchased from the US.

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