Apparently, the Saudi government was spot-on when it accused Iran of the Yemen-fired missile attack on the kingdom’s capital last week.
The U.S. Air Force says that the missile fired — which Saudi Arabia downed with a U.S.-made Patriot missile defense system — was manufactured by Iran.
“There have been Iranian markings on those missiles,” said Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, who oversees the Air Force’s Central Command in Qatar.
“To me, that connects the dots to Iran,” he added.
The Saudis claimed that the firing of the missile was an “act of war” by Iran. Further, the Saudis accused Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon of “declaring war” on the kingdom as well, since Iran is the principal sponsor of Hezbollah.
Saudi military officials examined the remains of the Yemen-fired missile and had verified “the role of the Iranian regime in manufacturing them.”
Analyst Comment: Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, has ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon, which is generally a precursor to military action. But some analysts don’t believe the kingdom is currently capable of launching a new military offensive against Lebanon’s Hezbollah factions because it is already overextended in Yemen. So the order could be purely a safety measure. Still, there are a number of fuses in the region and any one of them could be lit at any moment, triggering a war between the Middle East’s biggest powers outside of Israel.
Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 4: What are the latest indicators of a new Middle East war? Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region. Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.