Saudi-led strikes hit defense ministry in Yemen capital

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The Saudi-led coalition carried out two air strikes on the defense ministry in Yemen's militant-held capital Sanaa late Friday, witnesses and rebel media said, without reporting casualties.

Warplanes continued to circle in the skies above Sanaa after the strikes, the witnesses added.
The Houthi militia media outlet Al-Masirah also reported the two air strikes.

The coalition has targeted the defense ministry in the past, leaving it heavily damaged, but the fresh strikes come amid a ratcheting up of tensions between Saudi Arabia and its rival Iran, which backs the Houthi militants.

The coalition shut down Yemen's borders earlier this week after Saudi forces on Saturday intercepted a ballistic missile fired by the Houthis near the Riyadh airport.

The militants have threatened additional attacks on Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in neighboring Yemen in March 2015 with the stated aim of rolling back Houthi militia gains and restoring the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

The Houthis continue to control the capital Sanaa and much of Yemen's north.