Houthi rebels launch drone strike on Saudi-owned oil facility


A Yemeni official had told Reuters that Saudi Arabia and its main ally the United Arab Emirates would likely seek to remain deployed along the country's Red Sea coast, where it is now fighting an offensive against the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.

Saudi Arabia's air defence forces intercepted a ballistic missile over Riyadh on Wednesday, state media said, after at least three blasts were heard and three clouds of smoke were seen in the sky above the capital. But, the Sudanese government didn't comment on the report.

Houthis claimed the attack on Twitter, saying the intended target of the attack was the Saudi defense ministry in Riyadh.

Riyadh has been the target of frequent missile attacks since March 2015, when Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries launched a military campaign in Yemen against the Houthis, a group of Iran-backed Shi'ite fighters who had seized the capital.

Al Masirah also reported the Houthis fired missiles at oil storage facilities belonging to Saudi oil giant Aramco in the provinces of Najran and Jizan.

Last month, one man was killed in Riyadh by debris after the military shot down a flurry of missiles, the first casualty of the Yemen war in the Saudi capital.

Saudi Aramco operates a 400,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Jizan, part of a new economic city on the Red Sea.

A leading member of Yemen's General People's Congress (GPC) party was assassinated in the country's eastern Hadhramaut province, according to local sources.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of backing the Houthis, a charge Iran has denied.

Spokesman for the Arab Coalition forces fighting in Yemen, Col.

The first targeted Abha global airport in Asir province, while the second was approaching a "civilian object" in Jizan province.

Al-Arabiya quoted al-Malki as describing the drone over Abha airport as a "hostile Houthi aircraft with Iranian characteristics".