OIC to discuss alleged Houthi missile strike near Mecca

Last week, Riyadh accused Shia militia of targeting city with ‘ballistic missile’ fired from Yemen

OIC to discuss alleged Houthi missile strike near Mecca

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will meet on Nov. 5 to discuss potential risks caused by last week’s alleged missile attack by Yemen's Shia Houthi militia group on the Saudi city of Mecca, OIC Secretary-General Iyad Ameen Madani said Monday.

In a statement, Madani said the meeting would be held in Jeddah at the foreign-minister level.

The announcement comes in the wake of claims by Saudi Arabia that it had intercepted a "ballistic missile" last Friday some 65 kilometers (40 miles) from Mecca, which Saudi officials alleged had been fired from Yemen by Houthi militiamen.

The Saudi Press Agency quoted a high-ranking official from a Saudi-led anti-Houthi coalition as saying that the missile was fired from Yemen’s northeastern Saada province, a traditional Houthi stronghold.

Spokesmen for the Houthis, however, quickly denied responsibility for the alleged missile attack.

"We have not targeted any civilian establishments or holy sites during this conflict," group spokesman Mohamed Abdulsalam said in a Friday statement.

Mecca is "dear to the hearts of all Muslims and Yemenis", he said, describing Saudi claims that Houthi militiamen had intentionally targeted the city as a "base attempt to incite Muslim sentiments".

Yemen has been wracked by chaos since late 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing members of Yemen’s Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.

The conflict escalated in March of last year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Muslim allies launched a massive military campaign aimed at reversing Houthi gains in Yemen and restoring the country’s embattled government.

Last Mod: 31 Ekim 2016, 20:45
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