Saudi Arabia’s airport is delaying flights after the kingdom intercepts a missile or drone attack over its capital.
Saudi Arabia on Saturday intercepted an apparent missile or drone attack over Riyadh, state media said in the kingdom, which has been the subject of repeated attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015.
Social media users posted videos of what appeared to be an explosion in the air over Riyadh. The incident occurred around 11:00 a.m. (08:00 GMT).
“I heard a loud noise and thought something had fallen from the sky,” said one resident, who lives in Riyadh’s Al-Sulaimaniyah district. “The whole house was shaking.”
The Saudi-led coalition, which backs Yemen’s internationally recognized government against the Houthis, said it had “intercepted and destroyed a hostile air target heading towards Riyadh”, without giving details, according to the channel. Al Ekhbariya public television.
The Houthis did not immediately admit launching a missile or drone towards Riyadh on Saturday.
Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport said there were a number of flight delays, but it was not immediately clear whether they were linked to Saturday’s incident.
The US embassy in Riyadh has issued a warning to Americans calling on them to “remain vigilant in the event of further future attacks.”
Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly targeted by the Houthis since its intervention in the civil war in Yemen in 2015.
However, it is rare for drones and missiles launched by the Houthis to reach the kingdom’s capital, about 700 km (435 miles) from the Yemeni border.
The rebels have yet to comment on the incident, which comes just days after Joe Biden was sworn in as US president, replacing Donald Trump.
According to the new US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, the Biden administration will quickly revisit the designation of Yemen’s Houthi rebels as “terrorists.”
During his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Blinken said he would review the Trump administration’s labeling of rebels “immediately”, fearing the move would worsen a humanitarian crisis already described as the world’s worst.