A Houthi Burken 2-H missile was intercepted over Riyadh by the Saudi air defense system on Tuesday, December 19. The missile was launched by Houthi rebels from Yemen; the Al-Yamamah Royal Palace in Riyadh is believed to have been the intended target. No casualties were reported.
This is the most notable such event since the destruction of a Houthi missile on November 30 near Khamis Mushait, a city in the south of Saudi Arabia. It is also the second such incident to affect the capital, after a ballistic missile was intercepted in the Riyadh area near Khalid International Airport (RUH) in early November.
Saudi Arabia has been engaged in the Yemeni civil war, supporting the government against a rebellion by Houthi separatists ongoing since 2015. The south of Saudi Arabia is a frequent target of Houthi attacks. Missiles fired from inside Yemen often land on Saudi soil or are intercepted by Saudi air defense systems; in total, since the beginning of the conflict in 2015, more than 80 missiles have been fired from Yemen towards Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, Houthi rebels often cross into Saudi territory to carry out attacks against Saudi soldiers.
Individuals in Saudi Arabia are advised to avoid the Yemeni border area due to the risk of further attacks.