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Saudi Arabian city of Dammam 'struck with long-range Houthi ballistic missile'

Thursday's missile attack was the first such long-range assault [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 August, 2019

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Yemen's Houthi rebels said they had struck a military position in Saudi Arabia's Dammam city for the first time, the latest in a series of cross-border attacks.
Yemen’s Houthis launched a ballistic missile attack on a Saudi military position in the far-eastern Dammam city, the rebels announced on Thursday, the first such long-range cross-border attack.

“The force launched an advanced long-range ballistic missile towards an important military target deep into Saudi Arabia’s Dammam in a new and practical test of the Yemeni missile force," Houthi Brigadier General Yahya Sari said in a statement.

The attack was a response to Saudi Arabia’s crimes of aggression against the people of Yemen, the Houthi official said, warning foreign companies and citizens to stay away from military positions in the kingdom which he said “have become legitimate targets”.

Dammam is located in the easternmost part of Saudi Arabia and is an essential centre for economic companies including Saudi Aramco, a major oil export hub.

Houthi rebels have increased cross-border attacks on the Saudi kingdom in recent weeks, though Thursday’s attack on Dammam is the first to demonstrate the rebels’ long-range capabilities.

On Sunday, Yemen's Houthi rebels said they launched a drone attack on Saudi Arabia's Abha international airport.

The Houthis said they used Qasif 2 drones in the attack, adding that the strikes were "accurate", Al-Masirah TV reported, citing the group's military spokesman.

Also on Thursday, Houthi Brigadier General Yahya Sari said the rebel group launched an attack on security forces in Yemen's coastal city of Aden, killing dozens of fresh graduates during a military parade.

That followed an earlier blast at a police station in Aden's Sheikh Othman, although it is unknown who launched that attack.

The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover of northern and central Yemen by the rebels, driving out the internationally recognised government from the capital, Sanaa.

Months later, in March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign to prevent the Houthis from overrunning the country's south.

In the campaign, Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. The Houthis have used drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia and have targeted vessels in the Red Sea in response to the deadly raids.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict, which has created what the United Nations says is the world's worst humanitarian crisis. 

The war has killed at least 91,600 people since 2015, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED, which tracks the violence.

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