Cairo: Saudi air defences Tuesday had intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Iran-supported Al Houthi militia in the direction of the Saudi border city of Jazan in the latest such attacks, the Arab coalition said.
“The militia's escalation of its grave violations deliberately seeks to torpedo Yemeni consultations,” Al Arabia TV quoted the Saudi-led alliance as saying without reporting any damage or casualties due to the attack attempt.
Al Houthis this week ramped up their cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia despite a call by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which comprises the kingdom, to host inter-Yemeni talks later this month to resolve Yemen’s long-standing conflict.
On Sunday, the Arab alliance said that the Saudi air defences had intercepted a series of rebel attacks by a ballistic missile and explosive drones targeting energy installations in the kingdom including facilities belonging to the Saudi oil company Aramco.
Saudi Arabia said the attacks targeted stability of global energy supplies.
Last week, the six-nation GCC said it had invited Yemeni sides to talks under the grouping’s sponsorship in the Saudi capital Riyadh slated for March 29 and April 7.
The talks, according to the GCC, seek to unify inter-Yemeni ranks in support of legitimacy and state institutions in the war-ravaged country.
The initiative received unqualified backing from the Saudi-backed Yemeni government, while Al Houthis gave a conditional approval of the invitation, demanding such talks be hosted by any “neutral” country not linked to an ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against the rebels in Yemen.
The rebels have plunged Yemen into a devastating war after they unseated the internationally recognised government and seized some parts of the impoverished country including Sana’a in late 2014.
In 2015, a Saudi-led military coalition initiated a campaign in Yemen against the rebels in response to a request from the legitimate government there.