Saudis Accused of Missile Bases
Swedish space researchers released satellite pictures today which they said showed secret Saudi Arabian installations of Chinese-made ballistic missiles capable of reaching most targets in the Middle East.
They said the pictures of the base area around the As Sulayyil oasis about 285 miles southwest of Riyadh show deployment sites, assembly and storage buildings, training sites, barracks and bunkers.
“The operational area probably contains between eight and 12 launchers served by two or three army battalions,” said Christer Larsson, arms expert with Stockholm-based Space Media Network, a private firm.
Saudi Arabia confirmed last March it had bought a number of Chinese CSS-2 intermediate-range ballistic missiles with a 1,900-mile range, a move which upset both the United States and Israel.
Riyadh has said the missiles do not carry nuclear warheads and would only be used for defense reasons.