Saudi intercepts Houthi missiles targeting cities



Brian Hook, the US special representative on Iran, checks what Saudi officials said were Iranian-made Houthi missiles and drones intercepted over Saudi territory and the remnants of a 'cruise missile' that slammed into Abha airport on June 12th, during a visit to an army base in al-Kharj on June 21st, 2019. [Fayez Nureldine/AFP]

Missiles fired by the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) from Yemen targeting cities in Saudi Arabia have been intercepted, the Arab coalition said Thursday (February 20th).

"They were launched in a systematic, deliberate manner to target cities and civilians, which is a flagrant defiance of international humanitarian law," coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Sanaa, which has been under the control of the Houthis since the militia staged a coup in September 2014, "has become a Houthi militia assembly, installation and launching hub for ballistic missiles that target the kingdom", he added.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying sophisticated weapons to the Houthis, a charge Tehran denies.

The Arab coalition intervened in support of the Yemeni government in 2015 when President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile as the Houthis closed in on his last remaining territory in and around Aden.

Since then, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say.

The fighting has triggered what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with millions displaced and in need of aid.

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