The ballistic missile fired by Yemeni rebels that targeted the Saudi capital last week was from Iran and bore Iranian markings, the top US air force official in the Middle East said on Friday.
Lt Gen Jeffrey Harrigian, who oversees the Air Forces Central Command in Qatar, made the comments at a news conference in Dubai.
Lt Gen Harrigian said authorities were investigating how the missile was smuggled into Yemen despite a Saudi-led coalition controlling the country’s airspace, ports and borders.
He declined to offer any specifics on what type of missile was used in the attack.
The missile fired on November 4 was shot down near Riyadh’s international airport by Saudi air defences. Fragments of the missile landed in an uninhabited area north of the capital. Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authority said the missile did not cause any damage to the King Khalid International Airport and that flights were not disrupted.
Saudi Arabia has said investigators examining the remains of the rocket found evidence proving “the role of Iranian regime in manufacturing them”.
It said similar evidence was found after a July 22 missile launch. French president Emmanuel Macron described the missile fired at Riyadh as “obviously” Iranian during a visit to Abu Dhabi this week.
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said on Tuesday that the July launch involved an Iranian Qiam-1 missile, a liquid-fuelled, short-range variant of the Scud missile. Iran used a Qiam-1 in combat for the first time in June when it targeted ISIL militants in Syria in response to twin militant attacks in Tehran