Picture used for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: The Houthi militias launched a missile targeting the Yemeni city of Ma’rib on Wednesday night, but it landed within a civilian area, according to the Arab Coalition’s spokesperson.

Colonel Turki Al Maliki said the Iran-backed Houthis launched a ballistic missile from within Yemeni territory that fell among civilians and infrastructure within the town famous for its dam, the principal centre of the pre-Islamic state of Saba.

“The Houthi militia continues to violate international humanitarian law by launching ballistic missiles and indiscriminately targeting civilians, as well as gatherings, which threaten the lives of hundreds of civilians,” Colonel Al Maliki said in a statement. No casualties were reported.

“This launch is a deliberate escalation against innocent civilians that comes in the context of the Houthi terrorist’s approach to targeting civilians and civilian objects inside Yemen and its neighbours,” he added. “The attack is a clear violation of international humanitarian rights and the coalition will continue taking all necessary steps to reduce the capabilities of the militia.”

A new UN report endorsed long-standing claims that weapons “of Iranian origin” were used in several attacks against Saudi Arabia last year and have been exported to the Houthis in Yemen.

The report provided evidence for US officials in their case to extend the arms embargo on Iran and further calls into question Tehran’s public commitments to dialogue and the nuclear deal.