Saudis ‘confirm’ shooting down Iranian drones – media

Saudis ‘confirm’ shooting down Iranian drones – media

A royal source in Riyadh has criticized Tehran for “terrorism”

Saudi Arabia took part in downing some Iranian UAVs during Saturday’s strike on Israel, a source in the royal family has admitted in response to a report by the Israeli public broadcaster Kan.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Tehran’s attack involved 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles. The strikes came in retaliation for the bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, that left several senior Iranian military officers dead earlier this month.

The US, UK, France and Jordan helped the IDF intercept almost all of the incoming projectiles during Saturday’s attack. According to Kan, Saudi Arabia joined in the effort as well.

“A source from the Saudi royal family, who prefers anonymity” has spoken with Kan and “subtly acknowledged” the kingdom’s role, stating that Riyadh’s air defenses automatically intercept “any suspicious entity,” according to the official website of the al-Saud dynasty.

The same source accused Iran of instigating the conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, accusing Tehran of attempting to “unravel the progress” in normalizing relations between Riyadh and West Jerusalem.

“Iran is a nation that endorses terrorism, and the world should have curtailed it much earlier,” the unnamed official told Kan.

The anonymous royal’s statements would represent a shift from recent Saudi rhetoric, which has condemned Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinians in Gaza while working to end decades-long enmity with Iran.

The Sunni Muslim kingdom has long been allied with the US and has aided crack downs on Shia Muslims in places like Bahrain and Yemen, believing them to be proxies of the Islamic republic. 

Riyadh and Tehran agreed to restore diplomatic relations in March 2023, in a deal brokered by China. CIA Director William Burns admitted at the time that the US had been “blindsided” by the talks.

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