Saudi Arabia says new Yemen missile intercepted

By Agency Published on Jun 18, 2018 12:54 PM IST

Riyadh: Saudi air defences today intercepted a ballistic missile fired from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen, 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 Huthi 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.

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 Huthi rebels fired a 'projectile' at the province, according to the coalition.

Saudi Arabia last month tested a new siren system for the capital Riyadh and the oil-rich Eastern Province, in a sign of the increasing threat posed by the rebels' arms. Riyadh accuses its regional rival Tehran of supplying the Huthis 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.