Saudi Arabia intercepted the missile south of its capital Riyadh in a move likely to affect Yemen’s conflict. The Houthis had previously claimed similar attacks targeting an international airport and a province.

Riyadh general view

Houthi rebels in Yemen on Tuesday fired a ballistic missile at the al-Yamama royal palace in the Saudi capital Riyadh, said a spokesman for the group.

Minutes later, the Saudi-led coalition said it intercepted the ballistic missile south of the capital. “Coalition forces confirm intercepting an Iranian-Houthi missile targeting south of Riyadh. There are no reported casualties at this time,” the state-run Center for International Communication tweeted.

Coalition forces confirm intercepting an Iranian-Houthi missile targeting south of Riyadh. There are no reported casualties at this time.

A spokesman for the Houthi movement confirmed that a ballistic missile had targeted the royal court where they claimed a meeting of Saudi leaders was taking place on Tuesday.

Read more: Yemen: Between conflict and collapse

In November, the Houthis launched two ballistic rockets, with one aimed at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport and the other at the southwestern province of Assir.

According to Houthi-linked media, the Iran-aligned rebels said it fired the short-range Burkan H2 missiles at the time in response to “Saudi-American aggression and crimes against the people of Yemen.”

Never-ending war

In response to the earlier Houthi action, the Saudi-led coalition imposed a blockade to prevent what it claimed was Iran smuggling advanced military technology to the Shiite rebels.

Backed by loyalists of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Houthis captured the Yemini capital Sanaa in 2014, forcing the country’s internationally-recognized government led by Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia launched a military campaign against the Houthis and their allies.

More than 15,000 people have been killed and thousands more injured since the conflict erupted, according to UN figures. The country has since been pushed to the brink of famine and prompted a cholera epidemic affecting nearly one million people.

ls/jm (Reuters, dpa)



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