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Yemen’s rebels say they fired missile at Saudi military camp

January 5, 2018

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemen’s Shiite rebels at war with a Saudi-led coalition said they fired a ballistic missile Friday targeting a military camp in the southwestern Saudi city of Najran, but the kingdom said its air defenses intercepted the projectile.

The rebel announcement, carried by the rebel-run Al-Masirah TV, said it had conducted a “successful” firing of a short-range ballistic missile and that it hit its target in Saudi Arabia with “high accuracy.” The rebel officials, cited by Al-Masirah, did not provide more details on the missile.

The Saudi-led coalition, meanwhile, said in a statement carried by the kingdom’s official news agency SPA that it had “intercepted and destroyed” the missile.

It added that there was “minor damage” to the private property of a Saudi citizen due to missile parts that dispersed once the missile was intercepted but that there were no deaths.

The rebels later said they fired another missile targeting Saudi-backed forces along Yemen’s western coast.

The Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, have previously fired missiles targeting the Saudi mainland, including the capital, Riyadh, the city’s international airport and a royal palace — all of which were intercepted by Saudi forces.

The coalition backs Yemen’s internationally recognized government and has been at war with the Iran-backed Houthis since March 2015. The U.S.-backed coalition has repeatedly accused Saudi rival Iran of arming the rebels.

In December, the United States said it has “undeniable” evidence that Tehran is violating international law. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley showed off missile parts to cameras at a military base near Washington, saying the projectile was supplied by Iran and launched by Yemen’s Houthis at the airport in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Iran dismissed it as a “fake and fabricated” claim. Tehran denies arming Yemen’s rebels in the war with Saudi Arabia.

The nearly three-year stalemated war in Yemen has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced 3 million, damaged critical infrastructure, fuelled a cholera outbreak and pushed the Arab world’s poorest country to the brink of famine.

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