Yemen’s Houthi rebels say they have struck an “important target” in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, using a ballistic missile and drones.
A Saudi-led coalition, which has been at war with the Iran-backed group since 2015, did not confirm an attack on Riyadh but said it intercepted and destroyed a number of ballistic missiles and explosive drones launched towards the kingdom on Thursday.
Yahya Sarea, a spokesman for the Houthi forces, said on Thursday the group used a Dul-Faqqar ballistic missile and three Samad-3 drones in the claimed assault on the unidentified site.
“The attacks are a response to the enemy’s permanent escalation and its continuing blockade against our country,” Sarea said in a statement posted on Twitter.
He promised more attacks if Saudi Arabia “continues its aggression” in Yemen.
A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition said Houthi forces launched the missiles and drones at civilian targets in Saudi Arabia, without giving more details.
Earlier on Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition said its forces had intercepted and destroyed an explosives-laden drone launched by the Houthis towards the border city of Najran.
In a statement published by the Saudi Press Agency, coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said the drone targeted the civilian population and facilities in the southern Saudi city.
The coalition said that since Friday, it has destroyed at least six explosives-laden drones targeting southern areas in the kingdom.
Yemen has been locked in conflict since 2014 when the Houthis seized much of the country’s north, including the capital, Sanaa.
The Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 to restore the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Within months, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their allies on the ground pushed the Houthis out of southern Yemen towards their northern heartland.
The war has killed more than 100,000 people and caused widespread destruction, pushing Yemen, already one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, to the verge of famine.
The United Nations calls Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.