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Saudi Arabia: Houthi militia's attempted attack 'an act of war' by Iran

By Sara Shayanian
Saudi Arabia: Houthi militia's attempted attack 'an act of war' by Iran
A Yemeni child in front of an alleged Saudi-led airstrike site, a day after Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile at the Riyadh. Photo by Yahya Arhab/EPA

Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia is calling an intercepted missile attack aimed at Riyadh from the Houthi militia an act of aggression by Iran.

The Sunni-majority country is blaming the Iranian-backed Houthi for the attack, while Iran is denying ever arming the militia group with weapons.

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"We have no possibility to transfer missiles to Yemen," Ali Jafari, Iran's Revolutionary Guard Commander General Mohammad, said. "These are their own missiles with improved range."

Saudi Arabia, however, claims that the missile launch could amount to an act of war and that the country has a right to defend itself against Iran and the Houthi militia.

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"Saudi Arabia also has a right to respond to Iran at the appropriate time and manner, supported by international law and in accordance with its inherent right to defend its territory, its people and its interests protected by all international conventions," a statement from the Saudi-backed Arab Coalition said.

Saudi Arabia has continued to blame Iran for arming Houthi rebels with ballistic missiles, launchers, explosive-laden drones and sea mines.

Iran has noted that Saudi Arabia's allegations are "destructive, irresponsible, provocative and baseless" and said that Yemen rebels showed an "independent" reaction to Saudi attacks.

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The proxy war has gone on since 2014 when the Houthi militia took control of the capital Sanaa and began to seize more power in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia launched a force against the group and essentially against Iran by forming its own massive air campaign.

Mostly Saudi-led airstrikes have led to more than 10,000 dead and 40,000 wounded.

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"Today's missile attack comes in response to Saudi killing innocent Yemeni civilians," Mohammad Abdul Salam, a spokesman for the Houthi said of the missile launch.

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