Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi missile targeting Najran city

Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi missile targeting Najran city
Saudi Arabia intercepted a Houthi missile aimed at the southern city of Najran on Monday evening, the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen said.
2 min read
17 April, 2018
Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of arming the Houthi rebels [Getty]
A series of missiles fired at Saudi Arabia reportedly by Houthi rebels were intercepted on Monday evening, the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said.

Colonel Turki al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, claimed the attack was launched at 10.16pm on Monday from the Houthi-held Amran province in western Yemen.

The missile was fired in the direction of the southern Saudi city of Najran and was aimed at civilians, Maliki said, repeating accusations that Iran has been supplying the Houthis with the missiles.

The air force intercepted the missiles before they managed to hit their targets but some remains landed on residential areas, Maliki added.

Earlier on Monday, the Saudi-led coalition warned the Houthi rebels of a "painful" response if they mounted new attacks on Saudi Arabia, using what it said were Iran-supplied drones.

Riyadh said last week it had shot down two drones in the south of the kingdom as well as intercepting ballistic missiles fired from rebel-held parts of Yemen, the latest in a series of similar incidents.

"If the Houthis continue targeting industrial or residential facilities, the response will be hard and painful," said Maliki, displaying what he claimed were remnants of the intercepted aircraft.

Maliki told reporters in the eastern city of al-Khobar that the airport of rebel-held capital Sanaa was used as a military base to orchestrate the drone strike.

The Saudi-backed Yemeni government last week claimed the drones were "made in Iran", adding that Yemen's military did not possess such aircraft and it was "impossible to manufacture them locally".

Tehran has repeatedly denied arming the rebels, which would violate a United Nations weapons embargo slapped on Yemen in 2015.

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

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