RIYADH — Saudi Arabia said it intercepted a Scud missile fired on its territory by rebel forces in neighboring Yemen early Saturday as momentum gathers for peace talks in Switzerland next weekend.
“The Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted it with a Patriot missile,” said a statement from the Saudi-led coalition which has been waging an air war against the rebels since March 26.
Coalition aircraft destroyed the launcher used in the 2:45 am (23.45 GMT Friday) attack on the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait, said the statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The missile was fired from south of the Houthi rebel bastion of Saada in Yemen’s northern mountains, it added.
A pro-Houthi military spokesman told Yemen’s rebel-controlled Saba news agency that the target was the Prince Khaled air base in Khamis Mushait.
There has been cross-border artillery and rocket fire into Saudi Arabia but virtually no missile attacks since the air war began.
The coalition has made destroying the missile capabilities of the Houthis and their allies a top priority of its bombing campaign.
The Scud launch came a day after rebel allies killed four Saudi troops in cross-border attacks clouding preparations for UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva on June 14.