Saudi Arabia intercepts ballistic missile fired from rebel-held Hodeida as Riyadh-led coalition tries to liberate Yemeni city

Riyadh: Saudi air defences intercepted a ballistic missile fired from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen on Monday, state media reported, as a Riyadh-led military coalition pushes a major offensive to capture a strategic port.

The missile, which targeted southern Jizan city, left a Pakistani national wounded, the coalition said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed via their news outlet Al-Masirah that the missile had targeted a military camp in Jizan. The rebels have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition that has fought the insurgents since 2015.

Image distributed by Houthi Military Media Unit of a ballistic missile launched towards Saudi. Reuters

Image distributed by Houthi Military Media Unit of a ballistic missile launched towards Saudi. Reuters

The latest strike comes as Yemeni pro-government forces are locked in heavy fighting with rebels as they press a Saudi and UAE-backed offensive to retake the key aid hub of Hodeida.

Last Sunday, Saudi air defences intercepted another ballistic missile over Jizan, but no casualties were reported, state media said. A day earlier, three civilians were killed in Jizan when Houthi rebels fired a "projectile" at the province, according to the coalition.

Saudi Arabia tested a new siren system for the capital Riyadh and the oil-rich Eastern Province in May, in a sign of the increasing threat posed by the rebels' arms.

Riyadh accuses its regional rival Tehran of supplying the Houthis with ballistic missiles, a charge Iran denies.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other allies intervened in Yemen in 2015 to push back the rebels and restore the internationally recognised government to power after the Huthis ousted it from swathes of the country including the capital Sanaa.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the alliance intervened in Yemen in March 2015, contributing to what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.


Updated Date: Jun 18, 2018 11:40 AM

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