RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 7 (UPI) — Saudi Arabia announced that its air forces shot down a missile fired from Yemen, where the kingdom is leading an anti-rebel coalition.
The Command of Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen group said it intercepted the missile Thursday morning in the country’s Jizan province, “where it was destroyed without any causing any damage,” the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported. Saudi forces then moved to “immediately” to destroy the missile’s launch pad within Yemen.
More than 5,700 people have died, nearly half of which civilians, since a pro-government coalition led by Saudi Arabia began a military campaign against Houthi rebels in March after the rebels seized the city of Sanaa and began to advance to Aden.
Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have also created instability in the region. On Saturday, the Saudi government executed Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others convicted of terror-related crimes. Al-Nimr was an anti-Sunni who espoused the removal of the Sunni Muslim Saudi royal family during the so-called Arab spring in 2011.
The execution caused sharp condemnation from Iran and resulted in a diplomatic deterioration.