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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Saudi Arabia shoots down Houthi missile from Yemen over Jazan

This is the second time this week the Houthi rebels target the southern city

A photo distributed by the Houthi Military Media Unit shows the launch by Houthi forces of a ballistic missile aimed at Saudi Arabia on March 25, 2018. Reuters
A photo distributed by the Houthi Military Media Unit shows the launch by Houthi forces of a ballistic missile aimed at Saudi Arabia on March 25, 2018. Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s air defence shot down a ballistic missile fired by the Houthi rebels from Yemen’s Saada governorate towards the kingdom, the Arab coalition said on Thursday.

“At exactly 1.58am, the coalition noted a ballistic missile launched by the Houthi militia that belongs to Iran,” said coalition spokesman Turki Al Malki in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

“It was headed towards the city of Jazan and was fired with the intent to target civilian and populated areas.

“The Saudi air defence intercepted the missile and destroyed it, which resulted in debris falling on a residential neighbourhood, but no one was injured.”

This incident marks the second time this week that the Iran-backed Houthi rebels target the southern city of Jazan.

On Saturday, the Houthis fired two missiles towards Saudi Arabia’s city of Khamis Mushait. One was intercepted, and the other landed in the desert in an uninhabited area, said the coalition.

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Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia shot down four missiles in two separate incidents. Two were headed towards the southern city of Najran and two were headed towards the capital Riyadh.

A Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, intervened in the Yemen war in March 2015 to fight the rebels at the request of the internationally-recognised government of Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

The Houthis have repeatedly fired missiles at Saudi Arabia, which the United States and UN experts say are of Iranian origin, a claim Tehran denies.

The United States on Monday targeted five Iranians with sanctions over providing the rebels with ballistic missile expertise in Yemen.