first published on March 26, 2018 by Josh
On March 25, 2018, members of the PAC-2 surface-to-air missile battery in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, launched a counter-battery mission against a suspected Yemeni Burkan 2-H short range ballistic missile. While the incoming attack from Yemen was defeated, there was other issues with the patriot missiles that make this event news worthy. In total, seven patriot missiles were launched to intercept the short range ballistic missile, and it is reported by Saudi officials that two of the American-made patriot missiles suffered catastrophic failures after being launched by the PAC-2 SAM base just outside of their capital city.
One of the patriot missiles detonated in mid-air shortly after launch from the PAC-2 SAM site. This premature detonation was unexpected, but no cause for concern. A second missile went wildly off-course and actually impacted a nearby residential area inside of the Saudi Arabian capital city of Riyadh. At the time of this writing, it is still unclear what caused the dramatic and catastrophic failure of the weapon system. Early video reports from Twitter show the missile curving dangerously off of its intended flight path and crashing directly into the city, where civilians below had absolutely zero warning of the missile’s incredible failure.
The total number of casualties are still unknown at the time of this writing, but it is believed that at least one Egyptian national was killed. Early images from the area show the extent of damage caused by the failed counter-battery mission, and it is hard to believe that more casualties are not being reported by Saudi Arabia yet. With absolutely no warning, the civilians on the ground were completely caught off-guard by the failed missile launch. With little time to shelter in place, many of the people on the ground would have been caught completely in the open with no cover when the missile detonated in their backyards.
Below is the dramatic footage recorded by a witness on their cell phone. It appears as if the individuals who were recording the video were enjoying the show and recording as any normal civilian would when the military is performing some sort of exercise or activity. The footage shows several of the missiles flying through the air on their intercept path towards the Yemeni short range ballistic missile. After several seconds, one of the missiles can be seen turning off course. In the moment that the missile is veering off course, it looks as if it is going to fly directly into the people who are recording. Instead, the path of the missile changes so drastically that it crashes into the city at an almost 90-degree angle directly below its intended flight path. We will continue to update this story as more details become available.