Yemen's Houthis say fired ballistic missile towards Saudi capital

Faith Castro
May 20, 2017

Saudi Air Defense Forces shot down a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militias from Yemen toward Saudi Arabia Friday night, Arab Coalition command said.

Occasional ballistic missile attacks, as well as more frequent short-range rocket fire over the southern border, have been conducted after coalition air strikes against the rebels in Yemen. Saudi Arabia, with the support of several other regional states, began an air assault against the rebels the following year.

On Friday, the Saudi-owned network, Al-Arabiya TV, reported that the coalition had been "massively" bombing a missile base just outside of the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital of Sanaa.

In 2015, a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemeni civil war against the Iran-allied Houthi rebels in a bid to restore the internationally recognized government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

According to United Nations officials, more than 10,000 Yemenis have been killed in the conflict to date, while more than 11 percent of the country's total population have been displaced by the fighting.

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Both Houthi rebels and Saudi coalition have been accused of committing war crimes.

Riyadh on Saturday will be the first stop on Trump's first foreign trip since taking office in January. The area is open desert and there were no casualties, the official Saudi news agency SPA said.

Trump was expected to conclude important security and trade deals in his meetings with top Saudi officials in Riyadh.

The Trump administration is considering stepping up non-lethal support, such as intelligence, for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, reversing a policy by ex-President Barack Obama who curbed the USA role due to mounting civilian deaths.

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