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Middle East

France condemns Houthi missile attack on Saudi Arabia

media Still from a video distributed by Yemen's pro-Houthi Al Masirah television station on November 5, 2017, shows what it says was the launch by Houthi forces of a ballistic missile aimed at Riyadh's King Khaled Airport on Saturday Reuters TV

France has condemned a missile attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels that targeted Riyadh international airport, warning of a "danger of ballistic proliferation across the region".

"France condemns with the utmost resolution the ballistic attack, claimed by the Houthi rebels, that targeted Riyadh last night," French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement Sunday.

Responsibility for Saturday's attack was claimed by Houthi rebels, who are fighting government forces backed by a coalition of Arab forces led by Saudi Arabia, which claims they are armed by Iran.

The Saudis intercepted and destroyed it near the airport, some 750 kilometres from where it was fired.

"The new attack on Saudi territory deliberately targeted a civilian area," Le Drian said.

"It once again illustrates the danger of ballistic proliferation poses to the whole region."

France, which has major business ties with Saudi Arabia, offered its "full support to security of the kingdom in the face of the threats it faces at present", the statement declared.

The Saudi-led coalition on Monday accused Iran of being behind the attack on Riyadh, saying it "may amount to an act of war".

"The coalition... affirms the kingdom's right to respond to Iran at the appropriate time and in the appropriate form," it added.

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