Houthis deny targeting Mecca with a ballistic missile

Yemen
Anti-Houthi fighters of the Southern Popular Resistance stand on a tank in Yemen's southern port city of Aden May 10, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Yemen’s pro-Iranian group Houthi denied media reports on Monday that the group had fired a ballistic missile towards Mecca at a time of intense tension between Tehran and Gulf states allied to Washington.

“The Saudi regime … is trying, behind these allegations, to rally support and support for its brutal aggression against our great Yemeni people,” said Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Houthis on Facebook.

Al-Arabiya television quoted witnesses as saying Saudi air defense forces intercepted two ballistic missiles over the cities of Taif and Jeddah in the west of the kingdom. Reported that the first was directed to Mecca, without providing evidence.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led military alliance fighting in Yemen did not respond to a request for comment.

Riyadh accuses Iran of ordering air strikes last week on two oil pumping stations in the kingdom, an attack the Houthis claimed responsibility for. Iran has denied issuing the order.

Washington and Tehran are currently debating the sanctions and the US military presence in the region, raising fears of conflict between the two countries.

The group will launch military operations targeting 300 vital and military targets, including headquarters and facilities in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, as well as coalition targets within Yemen, the Haba news agency said on Sunday.

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