RIYADH: World leaders on Monday condemned the Houthi missile attack on Saudi Arabia, targeting various civilian areas.
The seven ballistic missiles were fired by Houthi militia in Yemen on Sunday night, the Arab Coalition said.
Three of the missiles were fired toward Riyadh, two toward Jazan, and one each toward Khamis Mushayt and Najran which Saudi air defenses intercepted.
In response the UAE, Bahrain, Jordan, Pakistan and the Arab League condemned the attack which killed one Egyptian civilian worker and injured two others.
Kuwait’s Permanent Representitive to the UN, Mansour Al-Otaibi, callled on the UN Security Council to intervene to stop the Houthi missile attacks on the Kingdom.
He added Houthi militias undermine all opportunities for peace in Yemen and their attacks are a dangerous escalation.
The United States joined in strongly condemning the dangerous Houthi missile attacks.
“We support our Saudi partners’ right to defend their borders against these threats.
We continue to call on all parties, including the Houthis, to return to political negotiations and move toward ending the war in Yemen,” said spokesperson for the US Department of State Heather Nauert.
Algeria also strongly condemned on Monday the firing of ballistic missiles toward the Kingdom and affirmed its solidarity and full support to King Salman, the Saudi government and its people in the face of any attempt to target its security and stability.
Moreover, Algeria called for the immediate cessation of hostilities that will deepen the crisis and increase the escalating tension in the region.
Russia and Sudan also strongly condemened the Houthi attack, while Amnesty International said the overnight attacks on Riyadh could constitute a potential war crime.
“Launching indiscriminate attacks is prohibited by international humanitarian law and can constitute a war crime,” said Amnesty’s Samah Hadid.
“A high death toll may have been averted, possibly due to the missiles being intercepted, but that doesn’t let the Houthi armed group off the hook for this reckless and unlawful act,” Hadid said in a statement.
“These missiles cannot be precisely targeted at such distances, so their use in this manner unlawfully endangers civilians.”
Amnesty did not say it had independently documented evidence of the attacks.
The internationally recognised government of Yemen, who has been fighting the militias since 2015, also condemned the Houthi attack.
Meanwhile, the United States confirmed their support to Saudi Arabia in defending the Kingdom’s borders.
Witnesses reported loud explosions and bright flashes in the sky in Riyadh, apparently caused by missiles being shot down.
Since November, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militia have fired multiple missiles into Saudi Arabia, all of which Saudi forces had successfully intercepted without causing any damages to lives or properties.
UK to Iran: Stop arming Houthis
Britain on Sunday called on Iran to “stop sending weapons” to the Houthi militias and use its influence instead to end the conflict, Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported on Sunday.
In a joint statement on the occasion of the three-year anniversary of the start of the Saudi-led Arab military intervention against the Houthi militias in Yemen, Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said that “if Iran is sincere in its commitment to support a political solution in Yemen, it must stop sending weapons that prolong the conflict, fuel regional tensions and pose a threat to international peace and security.”
“We are wondering why Iran is spending a lot of money in a country with which it has no real historical ties or interests, rather than using its influence to end the conflict for the benefit of the Yemeni people,” the ministers said in their statement.
In September 2014, the Houthis expelled pro-government forces from Sanaa and took control of the capital and several parts of the country.
“We support the efforts of the Saudi-led coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen, as approved by the UN Security Council,” the British ministers said in a statement.
A report by UN experts concluded that Tehran was involved in arming the Houthis.