Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday condemned a missile attack carried out yesterday by Yemen’s Houthi rebels targeting the official residence of Saudi King Salman.
A loud explosion was heard in Riyadh shortly before the scheduled unveiling of the Saudi budget, which is usually announced by the king from the Yamamah palace, his official residence.
The missile was intercepted by the Saudi-led coalition before any damage could be done. It is the second missile fired by the Houthis — who seized the Yemeni capital in 2014 — at Riyadh in the past two months.
A Foreign Office (FO) statement said that the “increasing frequency and ferocity of the missile attacks targeting innocent civilians by Houthi rebels, pose a threat to regional peace and security and is therefore, highly condemnable”.
“Pakistan stands firmly with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in confronting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” the FO said, adding that Pakistan reaffirms its support to Saudi Arabia.
The statement also said that in case of any violations of Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity or “any threat to Haramain Sharifain, Pakistan will stand shoulder to shoulder with the government and people of Saudi Arabia.”
Saudi Arabia and the United States have accused Iran of supplying weapons to the Houthi rebels, and Riyadh described the latest missile as “Iranian-Houthi”.
The first attack targeted Riyadh international airport on Nov 4, and triggered a tightening of the long-standing Saudi-led blockade of Yemen which is already on the verge of famine.
The Houthi rebels last month warned that they considered “airports, ports, border crossings and areas of any importance” in Saudi Arabia, as well as its ally the United Arab Emirates, as legitimate targets.
More than 8,750 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government’s fight against the Houthis in 2015.