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Houthi rebels seen launching a missile in March
Houthi rebels seen launching a missile in MarchImage: Reuters/Houthi Military Media Unit

Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi rebel missiles

April 11, 2018

Yemen's Houthi rebels fired missiles at Saudi Arabia's capital in an apparent attempt to target the defense ministry. The recent increase in Houthi attacks could escalate tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.


Saudi Arabia's air defense forces on Wednesday said they had intercepted three ballistic missiles fired at the capital Riyadh and two other cities by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The three rockets were shot down above Riyadh and the southern cities of Jizan and Najran, according to state media.

Read more: How did Yemen's Houthis obtain ballistic missiles?

Earlier on Wednesday, the Saudi-led coalition armed forces said two drones had been shot down in Jizan and the nearby city of Abha.

The Houthis claimed they were targeting the defense ministry in Riyadh and a Saudi Aramco distribution facility in Najran.

The Houthi rebels in Yemen have increased their attacks recently, action that could amplify tension between Saudi Arabia, which backs the Yemeni government, and Iran, which backs the Houthi rebels.

Read more: Opinion: Suffering in Yemen is on Saudi leaders' hands

It is the fourth time in five months that missiles have been fired over Riyadh.

The Houthis have said the missile attacks on Saudi Arabia are in retaliation for air raids on Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition. The kingdom's main ally is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but the coalition also includes eight other mostly Sunni Arab states. It receives logistical and intelligence support from the US, UK and France.

In March, one man was killed in Riyadh by debris when the military shot down several missiles.

law/ (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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