arab coalition raided strongholds of yemeni insurgents
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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As Houthi launched missile targeting Saudi

Arab Coalition raided strongholds of Yemeni insurgents

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A ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels toward the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia was shot
Aden - Abdel Ghani Yahia

A ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels toward the Muslim holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia was shot down late on Thursday, said the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. Air defence forces downed the missile over the Wasaliyah area of Taif province, 69 km from Mecca, without causing any damage, the coalition said in a statement carried by Saudi state news agency SPA.

The statement called the missile launch "a desperate attempt to spoil the Hajj pilgrimage," due to begin next month. More than two million Muslims from around the world make the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islam which every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to is obliged to undertake at least once.

 The Iran-aligned Houthis and allied militias loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on their official news agency they had launched a Burkan-1 missile into Saudi Arabia, but said it was aimed toward the King Fahd air base in Taif. The coalition blamed a lack of control over the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah and misuse of permits for aid shipments for the continued smuggling of missiles into Yemen.

The alliance command confirmed that the non-stop trafficking of missiles into the Yemeni territories was due to the absence of any control or monitoring system at Al-Hodeida port, in addition to the misuse of permits, which the alliance was granting to relief and goods shipments.

The alliance said the lack of control at the port comes at a time when the international community fails to take decisions to prevent such violations, which prolong the war and endanger the lives of civilians.

In its statement, the alliance reiterated its support for the decision of the legitimate Yemeni government based on the endeavor of UN envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to impose control on the vital sea outlet.

Last October, the Saudi Air Defense was able to intercept a ballistic missile launched by Houthi militias from the province of Saada towards the Mecca area.

The coalition destroyed the ballistic missile about 65 km away from Mecca without causing any damage.

The Houthi behavior had caused a wave of Islamic, Arab and Western reactions as a response to the ballistic missile, saying Mecca was a red line.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies have intervened in Yemen's civil war since March 2015 in a campaign to restore the ousted internationally recognised government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The coalition's offensive to seize Hodeidah from Houthi control has slowed since the outbreak of an intra-Gulf diplomatic dispute with Qatar in early June.

Source: ANTARA

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