Missile targeting Saudis ‘bore Iranian markings’
DUBAI: The ballistic missile fired by Yemeni rebels that targeted the Saudi capital was from Iran and bore “Iranian markings,” the top US Air Force official in the Middle East said yesterday.
Lieutenant-General Jeffrey L Harrigian, who oversees the Air Forces Central Command in Qatar, made the comments at a news conference in Dubai.
Harrigian said authorities were investigating how the missile was smuggled into Yemen amid a Saudi-led coalition controlling the country’s airspace, ports and borders.
After last Saturday’s strike near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said investigators examining the remains of the rocket found evidence proving “the role of Iranian regime in manufacturing them”. It did not elaborate, though it mentioned it found similar evidence after a July 22 missile launch. French President Emmanuel Macron similarly this week described the missile as “obviously” Iranian.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said on Tuesday that the July launch involved an Iranian Qiam-1, a liquid-fuelled, short-range Scud missile variant.
Iran used a Qiam-1 in combat for the first time in June when it targeted Islamic State militants in Syria.
Harrigian declined to offer specifics on what type of missile they believed it was. – AP