Saudi Arabia Intercepts Ballistic Missile from Yemen

Saudi Arabia claims a ballistic missile was fired from Sanaa and that it was able to destroy the rocket launch platform. REUTERS/Ali Owidha

DUBAI, Dec 27 – Saudi Arabia said it intercepted a Scud ballistic missile fired from Yemen on Saturday, according to a statement on the Saudi state news agency SPA, an attack which threatens a fragile ceasefire ahead of renewed U.N.-backed peace talks next month.

“Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted at about 11 P.M. yesterday a Scud missile launched from Sanaa, in Yemeni territory, towards the city of Najran … the air force immediately destroyed the rocket launch platform,” the Saudi statement said.

Yemen’s state news agency said the target was a Saudi national guard base.

The attack is the latest of several ballistic missile strikes by Yemeni forces on its northern neighbor, none of which have caused any reported casualties.

A military alliance of mostly Gulf Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia in March began bombing Yemen’s Houthi movement, an ally of Iran, to try to restore the government of president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The conflict has killed nearly 6,000 people and plunged the impoverished country into a humanitarian crisis, but a ceasefire coinciding with United Nations-backed talks began on Dec. 15.

Though Saudi Arabia and the Houthis have accused each other of many violations of the ceasefire, it has significantly reduced the fighting and allowed for deliveries of small amounts of aid to the war zones.

Yemen’s warring parties agreed to resume talks on Jan. 14.

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