A Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen said Monday that the country shot down a ballistic missile launched toward it from Yemen and responded by targeting the launch platform in Yemen.
The coalition said, in a statement cited by the Associated Press (AP), that the missile was intercepted at dawn on Monday by Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces. The missile was headed toward the southwestern region of Asir in Saudi Arabia, it added.
Saudi Arabia has been targeted with several missile and artillery fire since it supported Yemen’s internationally recognized government last year. Saudi Arabia and its allies are currently fighting Houthi rebels who have taken control of the capital Sanaa.
Saudi Arabia was asked to intervene in Yemen's civil war by the country's elected government that has been overruled by the rebels since the beginning of the conflict in March last year. As a response, Saudi Arabia launched a 10-country coalition to fight the rebels, targeting their stronghold in the country.
United Nations human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein said in late December that there were a “disproportionate” number of attacks against civilians in Yemen by the coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia.
“I have observed with extreme concern the continuation of heavy shelling from the ground and the air in areas with a high concentration of civilians as well as the perpetuation of the destruction of civilian infrastructure — in particular hospitals and schools — by all parties to the conflict, although a disproportionate amount appeared to be the result of airstrikes carried out by Coalition Forces,” Zeid reportedly said in December.
In December, Yemen Post, a local newspaper, said that 6,000 civilians were killed in Yemen over a period of seven months, while the World Health Organization said 5,564 people were killed, of whom over half were civilians.