Saudi Arabia intercepts four Yemeni rebel missiles

Saudi Arabia intercepts four Yemeni rebel missiles

Latest salvo by Iran-backed Houthis comes as group holds funeral for a top commander killed by Saudi-led coalition

Illustrative: A Patriot missile. (Israel Air Force)
Illustrative: A Patriot missile. (Israel Air Force)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia on Saturday intercepted four ballistic missiles fired by Yemeni rebels, the Saudi-led coalition against the insurgents said, the latest in a string of such attacks against the kingdom.

The missiles were headed towards the city of Jizan in southern Saudi Arabia, according to a coalition statement. No casualties were reported.

The Houthi rebels’ Al Masirah television said Saturday they had fired eight missiles towards Jizan, a day after Saudi defense forces said they had downed a missile headed for the same area.

The latest attack came as the Houthis staged a public funeral for a slain commander in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

Saleh al-Sammad, head of the Iran-backed rebels’ supreme political council, was killed in an air raid by Saudi Arabia and its allies last week.

Supporters of Yemen’s Houthi rebels attend a rally in Sana’a on April 26, 2018, against the killing of their political chief Saleh al-Sammad in a Saudi-led air strike.(AFP Photo/Mohammed Huwais)

Saudi Arabia formed its military coalition in 2015 to battle the Houthi rebels in its southern neighbor and restore the internationally recognized Yemeni government to power.

The Houthis control Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, as well as much of Yemen’s north and the key Hodeida port on the country’s western coastline.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led alliance joined the Yemen conflict, triggering what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The alliance imposed a total blockade on Yemen’s ports in November in retaliation for the rebel missile attacks.

The blockade has since been partially lifted, but access remains limited and the impoverished country stands on the brink of famine.

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