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Saudi Arabia intercepted 3 missiles originating in Yemen, officials report

AFP

clock 2 min read

(Screen grab) Saudi state television shows an airplane damaged in an attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels at an airport near Abha, Saudi Arabia, February 10, 2021.
Saudi state television via AP(Screen grab) Saudi state television shows an airplane damaged in an attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels at an airport near Abha, Saudi Arabia, February 10, 2021.

Saudi Arabia intervened in the Yemen war in 2015 on behalf of the recognized government

Saudi authorities said Saturday they intercepted three ballistic missiles fired from neighboring Yemen that targeted civilians in the Eastern Province as well as the southern cities of Najran and Jazan.

Debris from the interception scattered across the eastern city Dammam, injuring two children and damaging 14 homes, according to a spokesperson for the Defense Ministry.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels told state-run television it would take "strict measures" to protect civilians.

While there was no immediate comment from the Houthis, the Iran-allied insurgents have repeatedly targeted the kingdom in cross-border attacks.

In August, the rebels escalated operations using unmanned aerial vehicles and missiles, and Saturday's interception comes four days after a drone hit Abha International Airport in the south, wounding eight people and damaging a civilian plane.

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Eastern Saudi Arabia is home to major oil infrastructure. A previous attack in September 2019 temporarily halted half of the kingdom's oil production.

Saudi Arabia intervened in the Yemen war on behalf of the internationally recognized government in 2015, shortly after the Houthis seized the capital of Sanaa.

Yemen's grinding conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions, resulting in what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

While the UN is pushing for an end to the war, the Houthis have demanded the reopening of Sanaa airport, closed under a Saudi blockade since 2016, before any ceasefire or negotiations.