Saudi Arabia neutralizes Houthi missile from Yemen targeting Israel


According to the Wall Street Journal, in an article published on October 24, 2023, Saudi Arabia intercepted one of the missiles launched towards Israel by the Houthi rebels from Yemen. While initial reports stated that the United States intercepted five missiles aimed at Israel, the USS Carney, a guided missile cruiser operating in the Red Sea, shot down four of these missiles fired by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
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Saudi Patriot launchers during an exercise (Picture source: Saudi Press Agency)


The fifth missile was intercepted by the Saudi aerial defense systems, which operate to protect Saudi airspace. Saudi Arabia has several Patriot anti-missile defense systems that it acquired from the United States.

The Patriot missile system is an advanced aerial defense system designed to detect, target, and neutralize ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and enemy aircraft. Developed and produced by the American company Raytheon, the Patriot has become one of the most recognized and used aerial defense systems in the world.

The name "Patriot" is actually an acronym for "Phased Array Tracking Radar to Intercept On Target", highlighting one of the main features of the system: its phased array radar. This radar uses advanced technology to rapidly scan a vast area and identify incoming threats, allowing the system to intercept multiple targets in a short time. Once a threat is detected, the system determines the best method for interception, whether it's through ground-to-air missiles or other means.

The Patriot system consists of several key components, including a fire control station, radar, and several missile launchers. All these components work together to provide layered defense against aerial threats. When a missile is launched, it is guided toward its target using the system's radar and other tracking equipment, ensuring precise interception.

Over the years, the Patriot system has been updated multiple times to address new threats and incorporate technological advancements. These updates have improved the system's range, accuracy, and reliability. It has been deployed in various conflicts around the world.

The Houthi rebels have fired several cruise missiles toward Saudi Arabia in recent years, following the Houthi rebellion in Yemen. After the invasion and attack by Hamas in Israel on October 7 and the subsequent announcement by the United States affirming their full support for Israel, the Houthis declared their intention to join the attacks against Israel.

The operation "Al-Aqsa Flood" was hailed by Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi as a major and significant operation under the legitimate right of the Palestinian people to confront the unjust and occupying enemy. He also warned that if the United States intervened directly, the Houthis would be ready to engage in missile bombardments, marches, and other military options. On October 16, al-Houthi posted a message on X, formerly Twitter, criticizing Saudi Arabia for not allowing Yemeni fighters to move north to fight alongside Hamas and for not joining the "resistance."