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Saudi Arabia mocked for using Iraq war footage as ‘evidence’ of Houthi missiles

January 11, 2022 at 1:57 pm

Spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen Colonel Turki al-Maliki speaks during a press conference in the capital Riyadh on March 22, 2021. [FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia has been ridiculed on social media after it emerged that the spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition in the war against Yemen used footage from a documentary on the 2003 US invasion of Iraq to accuse Yemen’s Houthi movement of stockpiling ballistic missiles. Turki Al-Maliki aired the footage during a press conference on Saturday, in which he alleged that it was proof of weapons development in the besieged Red Sea port of Al-Hudaydah.

“Hudaydah port is the primary port for receiving Iranian ballistic missiles,” said Al-Maliki. “The missiles are put together and assembled in [the port] under the supervision of Iranian security officials.” He then told journalists that he was going to show them video footage showing the missiles in Hudaydah. “This is in a specific location, inside Hudaydah port, which is composed of workshops of ballistic missiles, which are then transported out of the port.” The exact location, he added, “cannot be disclosed.”

READ: Saudi Arabia: ‘urgent situation’ as Kingdom runs out of missiles

However, the footage was taken from the 2009 documentary Severe Clear, based on a US marine’s video diary as the invading army advanced to Baghdad in 2003.

Al-Maliki’s counterpart in the Houthi-supported Yemeni military, Yahya Saree, picked up on the announcement and accused the coalition of “scandal” and “bankruptcy”. The coalition, he said, had been “lying and deceitful” from the outset of their military aggression against Yemen in 2015 following the Houthi takeover of Sanaa in 2014, also known as the 21 September Revolution.

Even Saudi citizens have taken to social media in response to Al-Maliki’s claim. Saudi activist and sister of women’s rights campaigner Loujain Al-Hathloul said, “I wonder how these people are in power – what a joke.”

Khalid Al-Jabri, the son of Saudi dissident and former intelligence chief Saad Al-Jabri, asked sarcastically if the Saudis will be using footage from the movie Saving Private Ryan next.

READ: Yemen, Saudi Arabia discuss ways to confront Houthis