As Houthi rebel attacks escalate; Saudi Arabia may run out of interceptor missiles in ‘months’


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Saudi Arabia could run out of interceptor missiles for its US-made Patriot air-defence system in “months”, according to a senior US official cited by the Financial Times (FT) newspaper, prompting Riyadh to appeal to regional allies for help to replenish the stock.

“It’s an urgent situation,” the American official said, adding Washington supports the moves to source missiles from Gulf countries as Yemen’s Houthi rebels ramp up their cross-border attacks on the kingdom.

Two people briefed on talks between Saudi Arabia and its neighbours confirmed to FT that Riyadh had made such requests.

“There is an interceptor shortage. Saudi Arabia has asked its friends for loans, but there are not many to be had,” one of the people told the publication.

A second person told FT that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hinted at the issue during a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) summit in Riyadh in December and the kingdom subsequently contacted nations in the region directly.

It is not clear if Saudi Arabia’s neighbours have been able to supply it with munitions yet, the report said.

A third US official said the Houthi rebels, who are aligned to Iran and control northern Yemen, ramped up their assaults on the kingdom last year, launching 375 cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia, many of which were aimed at oil infrastructure, airports and cities.

“Responding to those attacks using those kind of interceptors means that they’re going to have a burn rate that is faster than they may have anticipated before,” the official told FT.

“That is something that we have to deal with and the answer to that is not only more interceptors, but the answer to that is ultimately a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Yemen.”



Experienced member
Denmark Correspondent
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I wonder what kind of AD systems KSA has. Are the Houthis launching so many Grads that KSA is running out, or are they extended their best missiles on every attack ?
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