Ye­men rebels deny their mis­sile tar­geted holy city of Mecca

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD -

Ye­men’s Shi­ite rebels and their al­lies fired a bal­lis­tic mis­sile deep into Saudi Ara­bia, an overnight strike that they said on Fri­day had tar­geted an in­ter­na­tional air­port while the king­dom claimed that it flew to­ward the holy Mus­lim city of Mecca.

Saudi Ara­bia said the mis­sile was “in­ter­cepted and de­stroyed” 40 miles from Mecca, which is home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that the world’s Mus­lims pray to­ward five times a day.

An­gry Saudis soon de­nounced the mis­sile fire on­line with hash­tags ques­tion­ing the faith of Ye­men’s Shi­ite rebels known as Houthis, as other Sunni Arab lead­ers in the Gulf linked the at­tack to Shi­ite power Iran.

In­vok­ing Mecca also in­vig­o­rated sup­port for Saudi Ara­bia as it leads the stale­mated war in the Arab world’s poor­est coun­try, as well as turned at­ten­tion away from those starv­ing un­der a king­dom-led block­ade and the civil­ians killed in its airstrikes.

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