Cruise Missiles Continue to Make Their Mark in the Middle East

December 5, 2020

Weapon Program: 

  • Missile

Author: 

Douglas Barrie and Timothy Wright

Publication: 

International Institute for Strategic Studies

A recent missile attack − claimed by Yemen’s Houthi movement (Ansarullah) − against an oil facility in Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea port city of Jeddah suggests that Iran may have developed and supplied the Houthis with an improved version of the 351/Quds-1 ground-launched land-attack cruise missile (LACM), dubbed the Quds-2. It also reflects the wider adoption of LACMs in the region, with two or three more states either having recently acquired such weapons or on the cusp of joining the ‘cruise-missile club’.

The Quds-2 debut

An Ansarullah spokesperson claimed that a Quds-2 ‘winged’ missile was used to strike the oil facility in Jeddah on 23 November. The wording indicated that it was likely a cruise-type weapon. The distance to Jeddah from the nearest Ansarullah-controlled territory in Yemen is just under 700 kilometres. This is probably near the maximum range of the Quds-1, one of the weapons used in the attack – also claimed by Ansarullah − against oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia in September 2019. While no details on the Quds-2 were forthcoming, the distance from which the most recent attack must have been launched suggests that increased range may be a key attribute of the Quds-2.

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Read the full blog post at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.