Saudi Arabia intercepted Houthi missile headed toward Israel — report

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Saudi Arabia intercepted one of the cruise missiles fired toward Israel last week by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, The Wall Street Journal reveals.

The US was known to have shot down the other four missiles from its USS Carney guided missile cruiser but Saudi involvement in the missile defense actions had been unknown until now. Saudi Arabia’s Patriot Missile Defense array is supplied by the US.

The US has said the missiles were likely headed toward Israel.

A member of the US Air Force stands near a Patriot missile battery at the Prince Sultan air base in al-Kharj, central Saudi Arabia, February 20, 2020. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via AP)

Pentagon spokesperson Pat Ryder says the US doesn’t have information that Iran “explicitly ordered” the recent missile attacks by its proxies but a senior Defense Department official separately briefing reporters says Washington holds Tehran responsible.

“When you see this uptick in activity and attacks by many of these groups… there’s Iranian fingerprints all over it,” the official says.

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