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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 18 December 2018

Houthi rebels fire missile at Saudi Arabia, striking civilian area

Coalition spokesman Col Turki Al Maliki said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency that the rebels were targeting civilian areas

The missile struck a residential complex in Najran. SPA
The missile struck a residential complex in Najran. SPA

Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a ballistic missile at a village in Saudi Arabia on Friday morning, said a Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting the rebels in support of the internationally-recognised Yemeni government of Adrabu Mansur Hadi.

Coalition spokesman Col Turki Al Maliki said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency that the rebels were targeting civilian areas.

“The missile was fired at around 1.17am towards a border village in the Najran region, where it hit a residential complex inhabited by a number of workers,” he said.

He said that one of the workers sustained minor injuries after a fire erupted in the complex, which sustained much damage.

Col Al Maliki said the “hostile act” by the Houthi rebels was a result of “the continuous smuggling of arms and missiles” from other groups in the region.

“Their goal is to threaten the security of Saudi Arabia and to target civilians,” he said, noting that the firing of ballistic missiles towards populated cities and villages violated international law.

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Saudi Arabia is leading a regional military coalition that entered the war in March 2015 to restore Mr Hadi's internationally recognised government after Iran-backed Houthi rebels allied with former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh seized the capital, Sanaa.

Iran has been supporting Yemen’s rebel Houthi movement by sending weapons and military advisers.

A top US general in the Middle East has said that Tehran is smuggling an increasingly potent arsenal of weapons to the Houthi rebels in Yemen not seen in the country before the conflict.

In an interview with The New York Times, Vice Admiral Kevin M Donegan said that Iran was supplying the rebels with anti-ship and ballistic missiles, deadly sea mines and explosive boats — weapons that have attack allied ships in the Red Sea and Saudi territory across Yemen's northeastern border.