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Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi-fired missile aimed at oil facility

A Yemeni tribesman prepares to launch a rocket [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 April, 2018

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Riyadh launched a deadly air campaign against Yemen's Houthis in 2015, with at least 10,000 civilian deaths since.

Saudi Arabia shot down a missile launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels at the southern border city of Jizan, Riyadh said on Wednesday. The rebels say the attack was aimed at an Aramco oil facility.

The attack caused shrapnel to land in residential neighbourhoods. The rocket was reportedly fired from Saada in Yemen's north, according to a statement released by the Saudi-led coalition.

Saudi Arabia launched an air campaign against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in March 2015 after the group overran much of Yemen.

The internationally-recognised government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi currently lives in exile in Riyadh.

The Houthis consider the missiles to be retaliation for the heavy Saudi airstrikes against the group in Yemen. Their TV station said the missile was aimed at oil tanks.

The UN has previously condemned the Houthis' firing missiles aimed at Saudi Arabia. 

Yemen, which was the Arab world's poorest country before the war began, is currently the "world's worst humanitarian crisis". UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called conditions there "catastrophic".

At least 10,000 have been killed since the Saudi intervention. There are up to 1 million suspected cholera cases in the country.

Observers say Saudi Arabia has sought to atone for its war in Yemen by writing a $930 million cheque for UN humanitarian  efforts in the country. The UN had asked international donors for $3 billion in aid to help 13 of Yemen's 22 million people. 

The US and UK have come under fire for supplying Saudi Arabia with weaponry as it carries out ongoing and deadly airstrikes.

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