Saudi coalition launches air raids in retaliation after Houthis fire missile at kingdom

Strikes on rebel-controlled sites in Sanaa have increased in recent days

Pro-government tribal fighters take position in a desert area south-east of Marib, Yemen, on December 6, 2021. Reuters

The Saudi-led coalition fighting against Houthis in Yemen said on Tuesday it had launched air raids against targets in Yemen in retaliation for a ballistic missile fired by the Iran-backed rebels.

The raids destroyed the launch site of the Houthi missile in the country's capital, Sanaa, it said.

“We have destroyed sites in Sanaa linked to ballistic missiles and drones,” the official Saudi news agency SPA tweeted.

It said earlier that the Saudi army had intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile fired at the kingdom by Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen.

The Houthis control much of northern Yemen, including Sanaa, which they seized in 2014.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen a year later to prop up the government in a conflict that has left tens of thousands dead and millions displaced.

The SPA said the target of the retaliatory strike included an area of “caves and secret ballistic missile warehouses on the outskirts of Sanaa".

'Vicious' targeting of civilians

The Saudi Ministry of Defence denounced the firing of the Houthi missile and the rebels' “vicious and irresponsible behaviour of targeting civilians", the news agency reported.

“The Ministry of Defence will take all necessary and deterrent measures to protect civilians and its territory,” the SPA said.

Over the past few weeks, there has been intense fighting in the city of Marib between government forces and the rebels.

Marib, which is about 170 kilometres from Sanaa, is the last stronghold of the Yemen government and has become the focus of fighting due to its oil.

Updated: December 7th 2021, 5:35 AM