Saudi dating system
Defence analysts say the Royal Saudi Air Defence Forces largely rely on Patriot PAC-2 missiles, a system developed in the late 1980s.
Those missiles rely on so-called “blast fragmentation” to destroy incoming missiles, spreading over an area like a fired shotgun shell.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — As with nearly every ballistic missile launched by Yemen’s Shiite rebels targeting Saudi Arabia, the kingdom overnight said it intercepted all seven fired — but online videos raise new questions about those claims.
One video appears to show a Patriot missile launch on Sunday night go rapidly wrong, with the missile changing course midair, crashing into a neighbourhood in Riyadh and exploding.
Another appears to detonate shortly after being launched in the Saudi capital.
Saudi Arabia’s Information Ministry did not respond to requests for comment Monday from The Associated Press.
They say that suggests Tehran either shared the technology or smuggled disassembled missiles to the Houthis who then rebuilt them.
Iran long has denied supplying arms to the Houthis, though a growing body of evidence contradicts its claim.
The Saudi military did not acknowledge the apparent missile malfunctions. Turki al-Maliki only said in a statement that “all seven ballistic missiles were intercepted and destroyed.”This is not the first time experts question Saudi claims on missile interceptions.The royal decree came days after a senior cleric was banned from preaching after claiming that women should not drive because their brains were the quarter the size of a man’s when they were distracted by shopping.Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, especially with regards to protecting women, has often been called into question.Sunday night’s launch saw one Egyptian killed and two others wounded in Riyadh by a missile fragment, marking the first casualties in the Saudi capital since the war began.Previous rockets fired by the Yemeni rebels have caused deaths in other parts of the kingdom.
The conflict has morphed into a proxy war drawing in Mideast powers in the time since.