Saudi Arabia thwarts missiles fired by Yemen's Houthis

Yemen's Houthis launch 'large-scale attack' on Saudi Arabia
2 min read
23 June, 2020
Houthis in Yemen said they had launched a 'large-scale' attack on Saudi Arabia, which reportedly intercepted at least one missile targeting Riyadh.
The Saudi-led coalition said it downed eight bomb-laden UAVs. [Getty]

Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it intercepted missiles and downed Houthi drones headed from Yemen, with at least one attack targeting Riyadh.

It comes after the rebel group announced a "large-scale" attack on the kingdom with the potential breakdown of a ceasefire in Yemen imminent.

A witness in Riyadh told Reuters that they heard two loud blasts and saw clouds of smoke over the city.

The coalition said it had downed eight "bomb-laden" unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and intercepted three ballistic missiles fired towards Saudi Arabia "to target civilians", according to a statement released by coalition spokesperson Turki Al-Malki.

A military spokesperson for the Houthis said that "similar operations would be carried out against Saudi Arabia until the seige on Yemen is lifted".

Earlier in the day, the Houthi movement's Al Masirah television channel announced that a "large-scale attack" targeting Saudi Arabia had been launched, without giving further details.

The drone strikes came after the Saudi military coalition in Yemen announced on Monday a ceasefire between the internationally-recognised government and UAE-backed southern separatists.

The ceasefire deal aims to settle a deadlock between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, who are allies in the war against Yemen's Houthis but split on the future of the south.

Violence between the warring factions has increased in recent weeks after a six-week coronavirus ceasefire expired last month.

The Houthis have launched missiles and drones towards Saudi cities, while the coalition carried out air strikes on Yemen.

Read also: 'Saudi intervention failed', senior aide to Yemeni president says in 'unprecedented' public remarks

The coalition's intervention in 2015 was aimed at restoring President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's administration against Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.

The intervention, which has also included a blockade on Yemen, has resulted in one of the world's worst humanitarian crises killing over 100,000 people.

As a result of the ongoing war and blockade, over 24 million of Yemen's population are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children.

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