The Saudi authorities have announced that the missile used in the attack on the Abha International Airport on 12 June was an Iranian made Ya-Ali missile. The weapon was launched by Ansar Allah, the Houthi rebel group that been fighting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen since 2015 and who claimed responsibility.
Though no one was killed in the attack another missile strike on 23 June on the airport killed one Syrian national and injured 26 others.
The Ya-Ali was unveiled by the Iranians in 2014. It was originally designed as an air-launched weapon, but it is now apparent that it has been adapted for ground launch.
The missile carries a 200kg warhead and has a reported range, in its air-launched form, of 700km.
According to Jane’s, the missile seems to be propelled by Czech made TJ100 turbojet engine, or a close copy. The manufacturer, PBS Group, state that they have supplied no engines to Iran, though conceded that examples of their engine, which is used for aerial target drones, may have been acquired by Iran.
Ed Nash has spent years travelling around the world and, on occasion, interfering as he sees fit. He has taught English in remote Indian schools, nearly been struck by lightning on horseback in the mountains of Lesotho and worked with ethnic minorities in Burma. Between June 2015 and July 2016 he volunteered with the Kurdish YPG in its battle against ISIS in Syria. His book on his experiences there, Desert Sniper, was published by Little, Brown in September, 2018.