Saudi Arabia downs four Yemeni rebel missiles: coalition

A scene from a video issued by Yemen's Huthi rebels on March 27, 2018 shows what appears to be Huthi military forces launching a ballistic missile on March 25 from the capital Sanaa

Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi Arabia on Saturday intercepted four ballistic missiles fired by Yemeni rebels, the Saudi-led coalition against the insurgents said, the latest in a string of such attacks against the kingdom.

The missiles were headed towards the city of Jizan in southern Saudi Arabia, according to a coalition statement. No casualties were reported.

The Huthi rebels’ Al Masirah television said Saturday they had fired eight missiles towards Jizan, a day after Saudi defence forces said they had downed a missile headed for the same area.

The latest attack came as the Huthis staged a public funeral for a slain commander in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

Saleh al-Sammad, head of the rebels’ supreme political council, was killed in an air raid by Saudi Arabia and its allies last week.

Saudi Arabia formed its military coalition in 2015 to battle the Huthi rebels in its southern neighbour and restore the internationally recognised Yemeni government to power. 

The Huthis control Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, as well as much of Yemen’s north and the key Hodeida port on the country’s western coastline. 

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led alliance joined the Yemen conflict, triggering what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. 

The alliance imposed a total blockade on Yemen’s ports in November in retaliation for the rebel missile attacks. 

The blockade has since been partially lifted, but access  remains limited and the impoverished country stands on the brink of famine.