Saudi air defense forces ‘intercept’ missile fired from Yemen

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Saudi air defense forces intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi movement on Saturday over the southern city of Jazan, the Saudi-led coalition said on Monday.

Another missile fired by the Houthis landed in the desert.

“The ballistic missile was intercepted at exactly 6.14pm [Saturday] Riyadh time,” coalition spokesman Col Turki Almalki said in a statement. “The Saudi Royal Air Defence Forces spotted another missile that landed in an uninhabited desert. Thankfully there were no reports of any damage until the time this statement was issued.”

Almalki said that the two rockets were destroyed over Jazan and accused the Iran-allied Houthis of targeting “busy civilian areas” in the Saudi city of Khamis Mushait.

“This hostile action by the Houthi group supported by Iran proves the Iranian regime’s sustained involvement in supporting the Houthis with material capabilities, in clear defiance of UN Resolutions… in order to undermine the security of Saudi Arabia, the region and the international community,” Almalki said

“The firing of ballistic missiles at populated towns and villages is contrary to international humanitarian law,” he added.

Earlier, the Houthis said the group had fired a Badr-1 ballistic missile at Jazan’s airport, without giving any further details

The Houthis, which hold much of Yemen including the capital, Sanaa, have fired a series of missiles into the kingdom in recent months, part of a three-year-old conflict in Yemen widely seen as a proxy battle between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

A US-backed military alliance intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 to fight against the Houthis on behalf of the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour al Hadi, who lives in exile in Riyadh. Iran and the Houthis dismiss Saudi accusations that Tehran arms the group.

The Houthis have fired a salvo of missiles at Saudi Arabia in recent months, including the capital, Riyadh, while the coalition launched thousands of air strikes against Houthi-held areas, killing hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and markets.

[Cover Photo: An image grab taken from a video handed out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on March 27, 2018, shows what appears to be Houthi military forces launching a ballistic missile on March 25 reportedly from the capital Sanaa. /VCG Photo]

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