Riyadh intercepts missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels

Riyadh intercepts missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels
The Saudi-led coalition waging an offensive against rebels in Yemen announced that it intercepted a missile fired by the Houthis over the southern city of Jizan on Thursday.
2 min read
12 April, 2018
Saudi army officers stationed at Jizan [Getty]
Saudi air defences intercepted a missile fired by Yemeni rebels at the kingdom's southern city of Jizan on Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels said, the latest in a series of such attacks.

"The missile was fired at Jizan indiscriminately with the aim of hitting civilian areas," a coalition spokesman told the official Saudi Press Agency.

"It was successfully intercepted... and the debris fell on a residential neighbourhood... but no casualties or damage was reported."

The missile was launched from Sadaa, the stronghold of the Houthi rebels in northern Yemen, the coalition added.

The attack was claimed by the rebels via their news outlet Al-Masirah.

It comes after Saudi forces on Wednesday said they intercepted rebel ballistic missiles fired at Riyadh and the south of the kingdom, where two drones were also shot down.

Yemen's Houthi rebels have said their cross-border barrage marked the launch of what their leadership has dubbed "the year of ballistics".

Video footage emerged on social media of the missiles being intercepted in the sky over the southern Saudi city.

Saudi Arabia has since March 2015 led a coalition of Arab states fighting to roll back the Houthi rebels in Yemen and restore its neighbour's internationally-recognised government to power.

Riyadh has repeatedly accused arch-rival Tehran of providing the missiles and threatened retaliation against Iran. 

But Tehran has denied making any arms deliveries and has said the Saudi accusations are a smokescreen intended to divert attention from its deadly bombing campaign against rebel-held areas.

More than 10,000 people have since been killed in the conflict, in what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. 

The coalition-imposed blockade on Yemen's port has exacerbated a severe famine and cholera outbreak, and has brought the country's economy to a halt.

The staggering number of civilian casualties from coalition airstrikes have drawn criticism from human rights groups, and in October the UN placed the coalition on a blacklist for killing and maiming children.