An Israeli study described Yemeni missiles launched by revolutionary force at targets across Saudi Arabia as accurate and more advanced.
In a study published earlier on Friday, The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies said that Saudi Arabia needs missile defense systems to protect its territory, adding that the US is the obvious choice as a supplier.
It also noted that Russia and the Zionist entity are also in the running as a supplier.
Citing threats against the Saudi Kingdom, the study said that Tehran’s missile development program and the ongoing crisis in Yemen “have heightened the urgency of Riyadh’s desire to field the most sophisticated missile defense systems currently available.”
Talking about the Yemeni threat, Debalina Ghoshal said in the study that Saudi Arabia recently experienced missile attacks from Yemen similar to those it experienced during the Gulf War.
“However, this time, the threat is more sophisticated. Most of the Houthis’ missiles are accurate and more advanced than the Scud missiles used by Iraq in the 1990s.”
Meanwhile, Ghoshal claimed that “the new missiles are being supplied to the Houthis by Iran and probably also by North Korea. Saudi Arabia has been able to intercept them up to now.”
The study said that Riyadh was interested in the US Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in 2015, noting that there were delays in acquiring US approval to sell the $15 billion system.
It added that the delay resulted in Riyadh’s agreeing to take a preliminary look at the Russian S-400 air and missile defense system.
Ghoshal also said that Iran’s ballistic missile development program has led Riyadh to pursue a robust missile defense architecture.
“In October 2017, prior to the S-400 deal, Saudi King Salman made a visit to Moscow to meet President Vladimir Putin to improve bilateral ties. During this visit, Salman signed an arms deal with Russia worth $3 billion. The S-400s were included in the package,” according to the study.
“When Riyadh agreed to take a preliminary look at the Russian S-400s, reports appeared indicating that the US had approved a possible sale of the THAAD system to Saudi Arabia,” it added.
In addition to Riyadh’s interest in US and Russian weaponry, the study reported that Saudi Arabia interest in Israeli weapon systems “is a clear indicator of this stronger relationship.”
“For intercepting shorter range missiles and rockets, Saudi Arabia expressed interest this year in the Israeli Iron Dome air and missile defense system as well as Israel’s Trophy Active Protection System, which can intercept and destroy incoming missiles and rockets.”
The study noted meanwhile that Riyadh’s motive for improving relations with Russia differs from its motive with the Zionist entity.
“With Israel, the strengthening of ties is a deterrent against the growing regional influence of Iran. With Russia, the improved relations are probably a precursor to Riyadh’s seeking help from Moscow in mediating a solution in Yemen. Arms deals are an integral component of improved bilateral relations.”
Source: The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies