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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Houthi Combat Operations


Saudi-led airstrikes destroyed “most” missile capabilities of the Shiite Huthi rebels and their allies, coalition spokesman General Ahmed Assiri said on March 29, 2015. “We believe that we have destroyed most of these capabilities, but we will continue targeting these missiles wherever” they may be, he told reporters in Riyadh. A Gulf diplomatic official said Yemen’s army had 300 Scuds. “Since we started operations we are continuing to target this kind of missile,” Assiri said. “We target their storage.” Witnesses say an air strike on a Scud missile base in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa on 20 April 2015, caused a huge explosion that blew out windows in homes.

On 06 June 2015 Saudi Arabia intercepted a Scud missile fired by Yemen Houthi Militia toward the city of Khamees Mushait and the largest Saudi Arabian Air Force Base, the King Khaled Air Base. Saudi Arabia used one of its Patriot Missile Defense Firing Units bought from the United States to acquire, track and destroy the Scud Missile. The rocket was intercepted by two Patriot missiles, the Saudi-led Arab military coalition said in a statement. Saudi Arabia Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said "Praise God, we have air defence forces capable of blocking these kinds of rockets, destroying them and thwarting attempts like this."


The [Houthi] Yemeni Ministry of Defense announced 03 September 2016 the release of a new missile with a range of 800 kilometers deep into Saudi territory, saying the missile is a warning message to Saudi Arabia. The Yemeni Defense Ministry announced the launch of a new missile, "Barkan 1" (Volcano 1), deep into the territory of Saudi Arabia. The Yemeni Ministry of Defense, announcing that this action was "taken in response to the continued impending rape of Saudi Arabia by Yemen and its people", said that the Burkhan rocket was fired at the depth of Saudi Arabia and prevented the country from further aggression.

The missile unveiled a new generation of missiles in Yemen. The Yemeni Ministry of Defense also announced the features of the missile and said that the "Barkan 1" is rocket with Yemeni forces with a length of 12.5 meters and a diameter of 88 centimeters, and a warhead weight of half a ton and a total weight of up to 8 tons. The Yemeni Defense Ministry's statement states that the missile warhead was designed to demolish large military bases and reaches a range of 800 kilometers, which was built at the Yemeni Defense Ministry's Center for Missile Development and Research.

The statement did not state which rocket was fired at Saudi Arabia, which has been successfully shot down in Saudi Arabia. In the first months of the attack on Yemen, Saudi Arabia claimed to have destroyed Yemen's missile power, but Yemen's rocket attacks on Saudi Arabia "became more intense each passing day".

The Burkan-1 looked like an Extended Range Scud (aka the Scud D).

Burkan-1 Burkan-1 Burkan-1 Burkan-1 Burkan-1 Burkan-1


An image released by Yemen's SABA news agency on 06 February 2017 showed the new shuttlecock payload section on the Burkan-2 missiles. The Houthis had repeatedly been trying to target Saudi cities and territories with ballistic missiles that the kingdom’s defenses have responded to efectively. Iran is supporting the Houthi militia with qualitative capabilities in clear and explicit challenge to violate the UN resolution (2216) in order to threaten the security of Saudi Arabia, as well as regional and international security, and towards populated cities and villages, contrary to international law.

Burkan-2 Burkan-2

The armed Houthi movement attacked a Saudi warship off the western coast of Yemen on 31 January 2017, causing an explosion that killed two crew members and injured three others, Saudi state news agency SPA reported. Separately, the Houthis said they launched a ballistic missile at a Saudi-led coalition military base on the Red Sea island of Zuqar between Yemen and Eritrea, according to the group's official news channel al-Masira. The attacks signal an escalation to weeks of combat on Yemen's western coast between the Iran-allied Houthis and the coalition backing Yemen's internationally recognized government.

Yemen's rebels claimed on 19 March 2017 that they had launched a Burkan-2 ballistic missile that targeted and hit Saudi Arabia's King Salman Air Base in Riyadh and released a low-quality video showing a ballistic missile being launched. The official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that the Royal Saudi Air Defence Forces intercepted ballistic missiles heading towards the southern city of Jizan on 17 and 20 March 2017.

Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted four ballistic missiles launched by Houthi insurgents in Yemen toward the Saudi cities of Khamis Mushayt and Abha, the Saudi-led Arab Coalition said 28 March 2017. In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency, the Coalition command said the missiles were shot down and destroyed at 6:30 a.m. without causing any damage. A short video shared on social media showed Saudi Patriot missiles intercepting the Houthi missiles. Coalition air forces immediately targeted the launching sites in Yemen, the statement said. It said the continued targeting by Houthi insurgents of Saudi cities with ballistic missiles “is the largest evidence of continuing smuggling of weapons to Yemen by all ways and means, especially from the port of Hodeidah.”

Yemen's Houthi movement said 19 May 2017 it had fired a Burkan-1 ballistic missile toward the Saudi capital Riyadh. The Arab coalition waging war in Yemen said it had intercepted and destroyed a projectile around 200 km (120 miles) west of the city. The incident occurred a day before U.S. President Donald Trump was expected in Riyadh at the start of his first foreign trip since taking office in January.

On 22 July 2017, the Yemeni Houthi group released video of its Burkan-2 (volcano 2) ballistic missile launch to strike Saudi Arabia's oil refinery in Yanbu. It was reported the missile flew approximately 930 km, making it the longest distance travelled by a Houthi missile. The Houthis claimed that the ballistic missile (Volcano 2) hit the oil refineries in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, as the culmination of a series of military operations carried out by Yemeni forces on the positions, camps, barracks and fortifications of the Saudi army in Najran, Jizan and Assir. A spokesman for a Saudi government body was quoted as saying on the state news agency that the Saudi Aramco Mobile Refinery (SAMREF) at Yanbu is operating normally after a fire hit a power transformer at the gate of the facility.

On October 30, a ballistic missile had landed in Yemen’s Saada region, after al-Houthi militias failed to launch it into Saudi Arabia.

Yemeni resistance force fired a Burkan-2 ballistic missile at Saudi Airport in Riyadh 4-11-2017 Retaliatory missile launched at Riyadh airport was Borkan H2, Yemen said. The Yemeni army confirmed that it targeted Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid international airport in Riyadh with a long distance Borkan H2 ballistic missile. "Our Yemeni forces succeeded in launching a missile, a Borkan H2 long distance missile, at the King Khalid international airport in north eastern Riyadh which was in response to the massacres committed by the US-Saudi coalition in Yemen,” said Colonel Aziz Rashed, a spokesman for the Yemeni army.

The Burkan 2-H (also spelled as Borkan H2 and Burqan 2H) was disclosed in 2017. The Saudis reported on 06 November 2017 that the missiles launched into the kingdom on 22 July and 04 November were made in Iran and had a range of 900 km. The Houthi rebels identified both as a new variant called the Burkan-2H.

Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces attempted to intercept a ballistic missile fired from Yemen to northeastern Riyadh on 04 November 2017. Al Jazeera reported that Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they launched the Burkan 2-H missile that covered a distance of 500 [??] kilometers from the Saudi-Yemeni border before being intercepted.

The missile did not cause any major damage. The spokesman for the coalition forces in support of legitimacy in Yemen, Colonel Turki al-Maliki said that at 8:07 pm a rocket was fired from within the territory of Yemen towards the territory of the Kingdom. The police and civil defense imposed a security cordon around the location of the falling fragments of the interceptor missile. Shrapnel was seen in the parking lot. Colonel al-Maliki said that the rocket was aimed at the capital of Riyadh and was launched indiscriminately and absurdly to target the civilian and populated areas, where it was intercepted and the fragments fell in an uninhabited area east of King Khalid International Airport.

The Yemeni army confirmed that it targeted Saudi Arabia's King Khalid international airport in Riyadh with a long distance Borkan H2 ballistic missile. The distance between Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Sanaa, Yemen is about 1075 km = 666 miles. "Our Yemeni forces succeeded in launching a missile, a Borkan H2 long distance missile, at the King Khalid international airport in north eastern Riyadh which was in response to the massacres committed by the US-Saudi coalition in Yemen," said Colonel Aziz Rashed, a spokesman for the Yemeni army, early on 05 November 2017. "This comes in order to even out power between the coalition and Yemen, who have been attempting to fight more than one country in the past three years," he added.

IRGC Commander Major-General Mohammad-Ali Jafari on 05 Novebmer 2017 dismissed claims by US President Donald Trump about Iran supplying missiles to Yemen. 'Mr. Trump has uttered a lot of wrong baseless remarks, including many accusations against Iran, the recent one is one of them,' the commander told reporters on the sidelines of the commemoration service of the late father of IRGC Quds Force Commander Major-General Qasem Soleimani. 'We are not basically capable of transferring missiles to Yemen,' Jafari said, adding that the missiles belong to the Yemenis themselves that their range has been increased to take revenge the blood of their martyrs.

The missile was painted blue with “Borkan 2-H” written in white paint. Foreign Policy on 08 December 2017 claimed that an examination of key missile fragments, documented in a confidential November UN report, supported US claims that the missile was comprised of Iranian hardware. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, pressed the Pentagon and US spy agencies to declassify intelligence linking Iran to the 04 November 2017 attack as well as other Iranian infractions, while US national security officials have lobbied the UN.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on 7 November 2017 that Iran’s supply of missiles to the Houthi militia in Yemen was a “direct military aggression.” Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi militia in Yemen accused them of “dangerous escalation (that) came because of Iranian support” after Saudi air defenses intercepted the ballistic missile heading toward Riyadh.

The United Arab Emirates on 10 December 2017 denied a claim by Yemen's Shiite rebels that a rebel missile had been fired toward the country's under-construction nuclear plant. The rebels, known as Houthis, earlier in the day claimed they had launched a missile toward the plant in Abu Dhabi in the first such strike toward the country. "The National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority denies the claim that the Houthis fired a missile toward the country," the UAE's state-run WAM news agency said. "The UAE possesses an air defense system capable of dealing with any threat of any type or kind." for the Houthis to launch a missile from Yemen at the UAE, it would have to fly over Saudi Arabia's vast southeastern desert in order to reach Abu Dhabi.

According to the Missile Defense Project (MDP) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), as of 14 November 2017, there had been 52 publicly reported intercepts of missiles fired from Yemen since the first reported attack in June 2015.

Lewis Sage-Passant, a former British Army Intelligence Officer and corporate security intelligence professional told Neil Thompson of Shephard Media 12 December 2017 "the Houthis have generated their long-range missile capabilities from a mixture of inherited Yemeni military systems and Iranian-supervised home-built units, improvising from scratch what they cannot get from abroad."

But this assessment implies a far greater indigenous Houthi technical expertise than had hitherto been in evidence. It seems far more likely that complete Iranian missiles were being shipped to the Houthis, in knock-down condition if needed to evade the Saudi blockade, with local final assembly. About the only thing improvised in Yeman is Khat production.

The Saudi-led coalition reportedly shot down a ballistic missile targeting a meeting of royal leaders at the Al-Yamama Palace in Riyadh. Houthi rebels in Yemen launched the attack 19 December 2017. There were no reports of injuries, according to the Saudi government’s media Twitter account. State TV reported no damage to buildings or infrastructure. A Houthi rebel spokesman confirmed the missile launch. According to Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdussalam, the rebels allegedly fired a Volcano H-2 ballistic missile towards the Al-Yamama Palace. The Houthi movement said the missile attack marked the beginning of a new chapter in its conflict with Saudi Arabia. The rebels claimed that Saudi royal palaces as well as oil and gas production and military facilities were well within range of their missiles, in a statement delivered via Houthi-run Al-Masirah television channel.

The Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen's Houthi rebels said it intercepted a missile fired from the neighbouring country towards the kingdom's capital, Riyadh. Houthi rebels said on 19 December 2017 they had launched a ballistic missile targeting al-Yamama royal palace to mark 1,000 days since the coalition started its bombing campaign in Yemen. "This is our answer to them and to the whole world," Abdulmalik al-Houthi, the rebels' leader, said in a televised address. "The more crimes you perpetrate, the more tyrannical you are, you will meet nothing but more missiles."


The Arab Coalition fighting to support legitimacy in Yemen presented on 26 March 2018 the remnants of the missiles fired at Saudi Arabia, stressing that the wreckage and debris proved the Houthis were had fired Iranian-made missiles. Spokesman of the Arab Coalition, Col. Turki al-Maliki told a press conference of reporters in Riyadh that the missile which targeted Saudi Arabia’s capital on Sunday night was specifically an Iranian-made Qiam missile. He also presented a number of missiles that were smuggled from Iran to Yemen, adding that they were seized before they made their way to the hands of Houthi militias. Maliki confirmed that the Houthis had fired 104 ballistic missiles targeting Saudi Arabia so far.

The coalition spokesman also showed several missile "valves" with features known to have been of Iranian make, pointing out that Houthi do not have such capabilities in missiles manufacturing adding that such missiles were designed to reach Riyadh.

Seven missiles were launched towards the kingdom 26 March 2018 but despite this number of missiles and the distance they crossed, the operation was nothing more than a show. The four missiles in Riyadh’s skies resembled fireworks. It’s no coincidence that these missiles were fired on the third anniversary of the military campaign launched to confront the coup staged by the Houthis and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces and their seizure of Yemen. All seven missiles failed to hit any vital target and actually helped the Saudi government remind everyone that the war against the Houthis and those allied with them is a war of necessity. Since November 2017, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militias have fired multiple missiles into Saudi Arabia, all of which Saudi forces intercepted.

in July 2018 a drone detonated at Abu Dhabi airport causing minor damage, but sent a message to the UAE—involved in the war against the Houthis—that they are not invulnerable. In the same month, a drone struck a Saudi Aramco oil refinery outside the capital Riyadh.


In January 2019 the Houthis successfully deployed a drone to assassinate officers of the Saudi-led coalition, killing five and wounding at least 20 military personnel at Yemen’s Al Anad airbase. That Houthi attack employed an Iranian-made Qasef-1 but used off-the-shelf commercial technology by electronic suppliers based mostly in Asia.

In March 2019 a Houthi drone flew 130km from the Yemeni border over the Saudi al-Shuqayq water treatment plant, not attacking it, but releasing video footage that even this precious resource can be reached.

The Yemeni army unveiled 16 April 2019 a "domestically designed and manufactured" Badr-F ballistic missile intended to rain shrapnel over a vast area upon explosion in mid air to ensure maximum lethality against designated targets, amid Saudi Arabia's atrocious aerial bombardment campaign against impoverished Yemen. Spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree said on Tuesday that their new Badr-F ballistic missile would have a range of 160 kilometers, which shows a nearly 30-kilometer increase from their old version of the Badr-1P missile. Badr-F was designed primarily based on Russia's Tochka tactical ballistic missile. The Yemeni army unveiled the Badr-F ballistic missile on the first anniversary of the martyrdom of Saleh Ali al-Samad, the former chairman of the Houthi movement.

In May 2019 the Houthis claimed responsibility for a drone attack on a Saudi Arabian oil pipeline west of Riyadh. The drone flew more than 800km into Saudi territory, demonstrating a major advance in their war-making capabilities.

On 12 June 2019 the Saudi-led coalition confirmed that 26 people had been injured as a result of a missile attack carried out by the Houthis against Abha Airport in Saudi Arabia. The Houthis launched wide operations using drones reportedly targeting Saudi Arabia's Abha airport. Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed they hit a power station in Saudi Arabia's city of Al-Shuqaiq, located in Jizan province, with a cruise missile. "The military confirms that a cruise missile hit the target - a power station in Jizan province. It was made in response to the continuation of war crimes against the Yemeni people and the blockade of the country," a Houthi military source, said as cited by the Houthi-controlled Al Masirah TV.

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Page last modified: 28-09-2019 18:55:32 ZULU