Houthis try to target Makkah, Jeddah

Saudi air defense forces intercept, destroy two missiles

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JEDDAH — Saudi air defense forces early Monday morning intercepted two Houthi ballistic missiles — one over Taif heading toward Makkah and the other over Jeddah, according to eyewitnesses.

The Kingdom’s air defense forces were able to destroy the ballistic missiles 60 km from Makkah. The missile debris fell in the Jallel valley that extends to Makkah.

Commenting on the development, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman of the Saudi-led Coalition Forces, said that the Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces intercepted hostile aerial targets flying over prohibited areas in Jeddah and Taif governorates. “The Air Defense Systems spotted on Monday morning the objects and were dealt with accordingly,” he said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

This is the second time the Houthis are trying to target Makkah. The first time the Iranian-backed militias targeted the holy city was in July 2017.

Makkah is teeming with millions of pilgrims and visitors in the holy month of Ramadan.

“Pilgrims and worshipers are performing their rituals and prayers in peace and comfort,” said Khidr Al-Nifei, a worshiper.

He said the Saudi leadership is capable of protecting the Grand Mosque and visitors to Makkah so we are not at all worried.

Rajabur Rahman Saif, a Pakistani national, said these futile attempts by the Houthis and Iranians to target the Kingdom will not have an impact on the number of visitors and pilgrims.

Pakistan and its people stand by the Kingdom to defend the Qibla of Muslims and Saudi borders, he said.

He called it a provocative act for the feelings of Muslims all over the world.

In light of the attack, the Yemeni government said that it strongly condemns the Houthi attempt to target Makkah, adding that the attack on the holy site is “a full-fledged terrorist act”.

The Saudi air defense forces have so far destroyed 227 missile fired Houthis toward the Kingdom.

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