Jubeir Says Yemen Missile 'Launched by Hizbullah' as Sabhan Warns Lebaneseإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday announced that the latest missile that was fired at Riyadh's international airport was “an Iranian missile, launched by Hizbullah, from territory occupied by the Huthis in Yemen."
"We see this as an act of war," he told CNN. "Iran can not lob missiles at Saudi cities and towns and expect us not to take steps," he added, citing Article 51 of the U.N. Charter.
Al-Jubeir said the missile was made in Iran and smuggled in parts into Yemen, where he claimed "operatives from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hizbullah" helped put it back together again and then launch it.
"We reserve the right to respond in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time," said al-Jubeir. He declined to say what those measures against Iran might be.
"This is a very, very hostile act," he said. "We have been extending our hand to Iran since 1979 in friendship, and what we get back is death and destruction."
Firebrand Saudi State Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan meanwhile issued new warnings to Hizbullah and Lebanon, saying King Salman had briefed resigned Premier Saad Hariri on “Hizbullah's aggression against Saudi Arabia” during their meeting earlier in the day.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will not accept that Lebanon be part of a war on Saudi Arabia,” Sabhan said in a phone interview with Al-Arabiya TV.
“We will deal with Lebanon's government as a government that has declared war because of Hizbullah's militias,” Sabhan added, noting that “Hizbullah's militias influence all the decisions that Lebanon's government takes.”
“The Lebanese government must understand the threat that Saudi Arabia is facing from those militias,” the Saudi minister added.
He pointed out that Hizbullah “takes part in every act of terrorism against Saudi Arabia,” noting that Riyadh “will use all political means and other means to confront Hizbullah.”
“The Lebanese must choose between peace and submission to Hizbullah,” Sabhan urged.
“We were expecting the Lebanese government to work on reining in Hizbullah,” the minister added, noting that “it is up to the Lebanese to decide how things will turn out with Saudi Arabia.”
Sabhan also accused Hizbullah of “smuggling drugs to Saudi Arabia and training Saudi youths on terrorism.”
“Hariri and the honorable people in Lebanon will not accept the stances of Hizbullah's militias,” the minister stressed, noting that claims that Hariri was “forced to resign” are “lies aimed at distracting the Lebanese.”
“Lebanon is taken hostage by Hizbullah's militias and Iran... and the Lebanese have the ability to put an end to Hizbullah's violations,” Sabhan went on to say.
Saudi Arabia and Iran traded fierce accusations over Yemen earlier on Monday as Riyadh said a rebel missile attack on Riyadh "may amount to an act of war" and Tehran accused its rival of war crimes.
A Saudi-led military coalition battling Tehran-backed rebels in Yemen said it reserved the "right to respond" to the missile attack, calling it a "blatant military aggression by the Iranian regime which may amount to an act of war."
Saudi forces on Saturday intercepted and destroyed the ballistic missile near Riyadh international airport. Yemen's Huthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in response to deadly Saudi airstrikes in Yemen.
It was the first reported Huthi strike to reach Riyadh and threaten air traffic, underscoring the growing threat posed by the conflict on Saudi Arabia's southern border.