Saudi Arabia Claims to Have Shot Down Missile from Yemen

The state news agency in Saudi Arabia said the military there shot down a Scud missile that had been fired into the kingdom by Houthi rebels in Yemen who attacked a number of points in the southern region of Saudi Arabia.

Two patriot missiles were able to intercept the Scud over Khamis Mushait a city in southern Saudi, said the news agency. The city is where the largest Saudi Arabia air base in the southern part of the country is located and is used regularly by the country’s fighter jets when launching airstrikes inside Yemen.

Saudi said dozens of elite Yemen Republican Guard forces who are loyal to the former Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh were killed.

Four soldiers from the Saudi military were killed as well. Jizan the border city, which has been a target of late for small scale incursions by Houthis, is where the Saudi soldiers were killed.

Saleh ruled the country for 34 years until 2012. He was forced out amidst street protests that were inspired by the Arab Spring uprising in 2011. Many army units in Yemen remain loyal to Saleh and have joined the Houthis to take back control of the country.

Saudi has led a coalition of Arab countries that have hit Yemen with airstrikes since March. The Saudi government called the new Houthi attack a failure to penetrate the country.

The Shiite rebels who are Iran-backed control the government in Yemen causing Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi the legitimate president to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Yemen’s exiled government and the rebels agreed to take part in peace talks backed by the UN this month in Geneva.

The coalition led by the Saudis said its goal was to restore Hadi to power and neutralize the threats of ballistic missiles entering from Yemen.

There has been thousands of Yemen’s displaced since the beginning of this conflict and aid groups say the humanitarian crisis is worsening rapidly.

Last month the UN said that 2,000 had been killed since the campaign began by the coalition.

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