Leader of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi vehemently rejected Saudi Arabia’s claim about a Yemeni missile targeting the holy city of Mecca, saying such lies and false claims are “not unprecedented”.
“What the Saudi regime claims about targeting Mecca is a big lie and a despicable claim,” Houthi said, according to the Arabic-language al-Masirah TV.
“Such claims by the Saudi regime that the holy Mecca has been targeted, which are based on lies, are not unprecedented,” he added.
“It is well-known that the criminal Saudi regime first raises false claims and then confesses to facts that it had previously concealed,” the Houthi leader said.
Saudi Arabia said on Monday that it had intercepted two missiles in Mecca province fired by Yemen’s Houthis.
Later in the day, the spokesman for the Yemeni armed forces categorically dismissed the allegation.
“The Saudi regime is trying, through these allegations, to rally support for its brutal aggression against our great Yemeni people,” Brigadier General Yahya Sare’e said in a posting on Facebook.
“The Saudi regime is again trying to exploit the religious status of Mecca to cover up its crimes against the Yemeni people,” he said, adding, “We will not hesitate to announce our military operations and we do not need to wait for incorrect judgments about our goals and the timing of our operations.”
Yemen’s defenseless people have been under massive attacks by the coalition for more than four years but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
Official UN figures say that more than 15,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the Saudi-led bombing campaign began.
The Saudi war has impacted over seven million children in Yemen who now face a serious threat of famine, according to UNICEF figures. Over 6,000 children have either been killed or sustained serious injuries since 2015, UN children’s agency said. The humanitarian situation in the country has also been exacerbated by outbreaks of cholera, polio, and measles.