Ballistic missile fired to Saudi Arabia after Houthi leader speech

2018-04-14 10:15:45 GMT2018-04-14 18:15:45(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

SANAA, April 13 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's dominant Shiite Houthi rebels once again fired a ballistic missile toward Saudi Arabia on Friday, shortly after the group's leader vowed to develop his Iranian-backed missile arsenal.

"The forces of the aggression (Saudi-led coalition) are frustrated by our ballistic missile capabilities, and we will continue to develop it," Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said in a speech aired by his group-owned Al Masirah satellite TV channel.

An hour later, the group said in a statement broadcasted from Al Masirah TV that it fired a long-range ballistic missile toward Saudi King Faisal Military Base in the southern Saudi province of Jazan.

Meanwhile, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported that the Saudi air defense forces intercepted and destroyed a missile over Jazan.

Houthis have recently intensified such missile attacks with the completion of the third year of Saudi-led war against the Iranian-allied group in Yemen.

On Wednesday, the Houthis fired a barrage of ballistic missiles on the Saudi Defense Ministry in Riyadh and oil giant Aramco in Saudi border region of Najran, though Saudi Arabia said it shot down the missiles and reported no casualties.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia led a military coalition of Arab forces, backed by the United States, to intervene in Yemen's conflict to back the government of exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The coalition has launched thousands of airstrikes on the Iran-aligned Shiite Houthis, in attempts to roll back rebels and reinstate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in the capital Sanaa.

In return, Houthis have fired dozens of ballistic missiles toward Saudi cities, with most of them intercepted by Saudi air defense forces.

The war has so far killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, and pushed the Arab country to the brink of mass famine.

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