Saudis intercept ballistic missile fired from Yemen

In this April 20, 2015 file photo, Saudi soldiers fire artillery toward three armed vehicles approaching the Saudi border with Yemen in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. (AP)

Saudi air defence on Monday intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen, the Arab coalition backing the Yemeni government said, slamming a “dangerous escalation” as peace talks with rebels falter.

“The launch of the missile at this time is a dangerous escalation by Houthi militias” and the forces of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, said the Saudi-led coalition in a statement.

It said the coalition is cooperating with the international community to “maintain calm and help the Kuwait (peace) talks to succeed.”

The missile is the first to be reported fired from Yemen at Saudi Arabia since a ceasefire took effect last month ahead of the UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait.

The coalition said it will continue to exert self-restraint but "reserves the right to retaliate at the appropriate time and place" in the event such an attack is repeated.

The coalition said the missile was intercepted at dawn, adding that coalition’s immediately destroyed the launcher inside Yemen.

On Monday, Al Arabiya News Channel reported that there was no progress in Yemen peace talks in Kuwait at the end of the negotiations between the two warring sides.

The UN special envoy to Yemen on Monday also urged the country’s warring parties to make concessions to save peace talks aimed at ending a devastating 13-month war.

The appeal by Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed came after face-to-face talks broke off with the government delegation complaining of a lack of progress and the Iran-backed Houthi militias protesting about air raids by the Arab coalition.

In another development, Yemen’s president has criticized the “unacceptable” expulsion of hundreds of civilians from the southern cities of Aden and Taiz.

The civilians were expelled by southern forces who claimed that they originated from the north of the country, which is controlled by the Houthis battling the internationally-recognized government.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:48 - GMT 06:48