Saudi Arabia reports shooting down Houthi missile near Mecca

Houthi Burkan 2 ballistic missile fired last week at Yanbu, Saudi Arabia

Saudi forces report that a Houthi ballistic missile was shot down just 43 miles south of the holy city of Mecca. This comes less than one week after Yemeni Houthi rebels claimed to fire a ballistic missile at Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.

The Iranian-supported Yemeni rebels have yet to comment.

The AFP reports:

A ballistic missile fired by Yemeni rebels was shot down late Thursday close to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, a month before the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest site, the Arab military coalition fighting in Yemen said.

The missile was intercepted 69 kilometres (43 miles) south of the city in western Saudi Arabia, the coalition said in a statement, calling it “a desperate attempt by Shiite Huthi rebels to disrupt Hajj”, which begins at the end of August.

Last Saturday, the Houthi insurgent group (officially known as Ansar Allah) claimed it fired a ‘Burkan-2’ ballistic missile at a Saudi Arabian oil refinery in the coastal town of Yanbu. A video was released by the group a few days later saying that “this is a new phase in the conflict with Saudi Arabia” and that more refineries will be hit unless “the brutal aggression in Yemen stops.” [See Threat Matrix report, Yemeni Houthis release video of missile launch on Saudi oil refinery.]

In March, Saudi officials reported that state defenses shot down four ballistic missiles coming from Yemen. Two months later, the Houthis reported its forces launched a ballistic missile at Riyadh prior to the arrival of US President Donald Trump. Saudi Arabia later said it shot down the missile in its southern regions. In January, another ballistic missile was reported fired at a Saudi base on the Red Sea island of Zuqar. Several similar incidents also occurred throughout 2016. One of those instances was also targeting Mecca.

Caleb Weiss is an editor of FDD's Long War Journal and a senior analyst at the Bridgeway Foundation, where he focuses on the spread of the Islamic State in Central Africa.

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  • Patrick Connors says:

    What are these missiles being shot down with?

  • James says:

    That is what we need to be doing to those missiles launched by North Korea. We need to be shooting them down, in real time. It should have been done long ago. Had it been done, the sorry/sad state of affairs we and our allies are now faced with would have never developed.

  • Bud says:



Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram