On the eve of the third anniversary of the war in Yemen, Houthi rebels fired a barrage of missiles into Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s airports were targeted. An Egyptian national in Riyadh was reportedly killed and at least two other civilians were injured.
The United States strongly condemned the attacks.
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement that the United States supports “the rights of our Saudi partners to defend their borders against these threats.” She again called “on all parties, including the Houthis, to return to political negotiations and move toward ending the war in Yemen.”
A Pentagon spokesperson pointed to Iran’s role in the conflict: “This follows Iran’s pattern of providing advanced weapons to the Houthis,” Lieutenant Commander Rebecca Rebarich said in a statement. “Iran has enabled the conflict in Yemen to spill into neighboring countries and undermines international efforts to resolve the conflict, exacerbating the suffering of the Yemeni people.”
Earlier this year, United Nations experts found that missile debris recovered in Saudi Arabia was of Iranian origin, and that Iran had failed to comply with the Yemen arms embargo established by Security Council Resolution 2216. U.S. Permanent Representative to the U.N. Nikki Haley made a similar charge a month earlier.
In February, U.S. Representative to the U.N. for Economic and Social Affairs Ambassador Kelley Currie warned of the potential for further suffering in Yemen and the possibility of a wider war in the region:
“But this is far from the end of the road to accountability for Iran. Across the region, Iran is entrenching itself… and it is making the world a more dangerous place.”
The United States, she said, “will not hesitate to continue to make the world aware of Iran’s misdeeds and we will not stop until Tehran is stopped and peace is once more possible for the people of the Middle East.”