Patriot missile system
Patriot missile system (Officer Candidate Sebastian Apel/German Air Defence Missile Group 24)

The Saudi-led coalition said Tuesday it repelled an aerial attack by the Yemeni Houthi rebels aimed at targets in Saudi Arabia.

At least one ballistic missile was launched at the capital of Riyadh, the coalition said, after reporting that three ballistic missiles were fired overnight, purportedly targeting the southern cities of Najran and Jazan.

The missiles had reportedly been intercepted, with a Reuters correspondent in Riyadh reporting two loud blasts in the sky over the city.

The overnight attack also reportedly included eight explosives-laden unmanned aerial vehicles. The coalition accused the Houthis, a Shi’ite rebel group linked with Iran, of targeting civilians.

Houthi-linked al-Masirah TV channel claimed the group had conducted a sweeping operation deep in Saudi Arabia.

Regional media cited coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki as saying that throughout the years-long conflict, the Yemeni rebels have fired 313 ballistic missiles and 357 drones at Saudi Arabia.

The attack comes amid a US push for extending a UN embargo on conventional arms trade with Iran, which is set to expire this fall.

Earlier this month, Reuters cited a report by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as alleging that some of the projectiles used in last year’s attacks on Saudi oil installations were “of Iranian origin.”

Houthis claimed responsibility for the September 2019 strikes on Aramco facilities at Abqaiq and Khurais, in the country’s east. However, the US subsequently pointed the finger at Iran — and another UN report seen by Reuters confirmed that the Houthis’ claim was a lie.