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Saudi Arabia renews accusations of Iran arming Yemen's rebels after missile intercepted

The situation in Yemen remains dire [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 January, 2018

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Riyadh is accusing rival Iran of arming the rebels after intercepting a missile attack fired by Yemen's Houthis into the south of the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia says it intercepted "another missile attack fired by Yemen's Houthis" into the south of the kingdom, renewing accusations against rival Iran of arming the rebels.

The Houthi rebels said on their Al-Masirah television channel that they had fired two missiles at the Saudi border, but there was no comment from Riyadh regarding the second missile.

Turki al-Maliki, the Saudi-led coalition spokesperson, said that Saudi air defences had intercepted one missile over the Jizan province on the Red Sea coast on Tuesday evening.

The rebels said a second missile was fired at a military base in the Najran province, just across the border.

In an official statement, Maliki accused Iran of arming the Houthis "in clear and explicit violation" of UN Security Council resolutions.

Houthis have fired repeated missiles into Saudi Arabia, all of which have been intercepted according to Saudi forces.

In response to a missile fired by the Houthis November 4, that was intercepted near Riyadh airport, the Saudi-led campaign imposed a blockade on Yemeni ports and airports. Saudi Crown Prince described the missile as what "may amount to an act of war" involving Iran.

Despite easing up since, the situation remains dire.

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million people in need of food, eight and a half million of whom are at risk of famine now. 

More than 2,000 Yemenis have died in a cholera outbreak now affecting nearly one million people.

Saudi Arabia and its allies say they intervened in neighbouring Yemen in March 2015 to push back the rebels who control the capital Sanaa, in an attempt to restore the government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

But the military intervention, which has triggered widespread criticism from the international community, has left more than 10,000 people, mainly civilians, dead.

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