RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi air defences on Thursday intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern city of Jizan after it was fired from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen, a Saudi-led military coalition said.
Debris from the missile landed in residential areas of Jizan without causing casualties, coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Yemen’s Huthi rebels claimed the attack via their news outlet Al-Masirah, saying the “Badr 1” missile had targeted Jizan’s port.
The insurgents have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition against them.
Another rebel missile was intercepted over Jizan on Monday and two rebel missiles targeted the southern city of Khamis Mushait on Saturday, according to Maliki, who said there were no casualties.
Saudi Arabia earlier this month tested a new siren system for the capital Riyadh and the oil-rich Eastern Province, in a sign of the increasing challenge posed by the rebels’ arms.
Riyadh accuses its regional rival Tehran of supplying the Huthis with ballistic missiles, a charge Iran denies.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other allies intervened in Yemen in 2015 to push back the rebels and restore the internationally-recognised government to power after the Huthis ousted it from swathes of the country including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict has left nearly 10,000 people dead and more than 55,000 wounded, according to the World Health Organization.
More than 2,200 others have died from cholera and millions are on the verge of famine in what the United Nations says is the world’s gravest humanitarian crisis.