Saudi Arabia intercepts two Al Houthi missiles

Since the Yemeni war broke out three years ago, Al Houthis have fired thousands of missiles into Saudi territory

Dubai: Saudi Air Defence forces intercepted two ballistic missiles launched by Iran-backed Al Houthi militants from Yemen.

The missiles on Sunday were directed towards the city of Najran and launched by the militia deliberately to target civilian and populated areas, spokesman for the Arab Coalition Forces Colonel Turki Al Maliki said.

There were no reports of injuries or damage.

“This hostile act by Al Houthis proves the continued involvement of the Iranian regime in supporting the armed militia threatening the security of Saudi Arabia,” he said, stressing that such acts targeting civilian areas are a continuous violation of international law.

Since the Yemeni war broke out three years ago, Al Houthis have fired thousands of missiles into Saudi territory.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition entered the Yemeni war in 2015 just months after an Al Houthi coup forced internationally-recognised Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of power.

He later was able to escape house arrest and flee to Aden where he temporarily shifted government headquarters.

Since then, the coalition has gained back 86 per cent of Yemeni territory but major population centres still remain under Al Houthi control.

Saudi Arabia and the US have accused Iran of illegally smuggling weapons into Yemen to sustain Al Houthi war efforts.

In December, one such Iranian-made ballistic missile was fired towards Riyadh for the first time in the three-year war.

Although it was intercepted, Riyadh called it an ‘act of war’.

On March 25, on the third anniversary of the country’s war, Al Houthis sent seven missiles into Saudi Arabia including Riyadh, killing one Egyptian expatriate.

At the time, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman downplayed the missile salvo saying that Al Houthis have resorted to such desperate tactics because they have become increasingly isolated politically.

Saudi Arabia, he said, is now seeking to end the war through a political process, trying to divide Al Houthis and maintaining military pressure on them.

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