July 10, 2018 / 1:13 PM / 10 days ago

Saudi Arabia says it intercepts Houthi missile launched at Jizan

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s air defence forces intercepted a missile launched towards the kingdom’s southwestern Jizan region by Yemen’s armed Houthi movement, state media said on Tuesday.

The Houthi-run al-Masirah TV said earlier that a Badr 1 missile had targeted Jizan Economic City, where Saudi Aramco is building a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery that is expected to become fully operational in 2019.

There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.

The Iran-aligned Houthis, who control Yemen’s capital Sanaa, have fired dozens of missiles into the kingdom in recent months, part of a three-year-old conflict widely seen as a proxy battle between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. Most of the missiles have been intercepted by the Saudi military.

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in Yemen’s war in 2015 to unseat the Houthis and restore the internationally-recognised government in exile.

The Western-backed coalition has made no major gains in an offensive launched a month ago to wrest control of Yemen’s Hodeidah port from the Houthis, leaving it without the decisive increase in leverage it had sought against the group in U.N.-sponsored peace efforts.

Reporting by Marwa Rashad and Stephen Kalin; Editing by John Stonestreet, William Maclean

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