US says missile targeting Saudis was Iranian

Associated Press 

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran manufactured the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Shi’ite rebels toward the Saudi capital and remnants of it bore ‘‘Iranian markings,’’ the top US Air Force official in the Mideast said Friday, backing the kingdom’s earlier allegations.

The comments by Lieutenant General Jeffrey L. Harrigian, who oversees the Air Force’s Central Command in Qatar, further internationalizes the yearslong conflict in Yemen — the Arab world’s poorest country.


Saudi Arabia long has accused Iran of giving weapons to the Shi’ite rebels known as Houthis and their allies, though Tehran has just as long denied supplying them. Riyadh quickly backed up Harrigian’s allegations in a statement.

‘‘There have been Iranian markings on those missiles,’’ Harrigian told journalists before the Dubai Air Show. ‘‘To me, that connects the dots to Iran.’’ There was no reply from Tehran.

Saudi Arabia says it shot down the missile Nov. 4 near Riyadh’s international airport, the deepest yet to reach into the kingdom.