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Saudi Arabia Shoots down Ballistic Missile Launched by Houthis towards Ar Rayn | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Houthi militants sit on the back of a patrol truck as they secure the site of a rally commemorating the anniversary of South Yemen’s independence from British colonial rule, in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, Nov. 30, 2015. Reuters

Jeddah, Aden, Taiz – Saudi Arabia said it shot down a ballistic missile, fired by Yemeni rebels, southern Saudi province of Ar Rayn, well to the west of Riyadh late Friday. The area is open desert and there were no casualties.

Air defense units “intercepted a ballistic missile that was launched by Houthi militias over an unpopulated area,” 180 kilometers from Riyadh, the Saudi-led coalition said in a statement.

Arab coalition sources told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday that the launch pad for the missile intercepted by Saudi Arabia was placed in a cave north of Yemen’s Saadah governorate.

The cave was targeted at midnight and became clear from the force of successive blasts that there was a missile and ammunition depot, the sources said.

In October 2016, the rebels launched one of their longest-range strikes against Saudi Arabia, firing a ballistic missile that was brought down near the holy Muslim city of Makkah, an attack condemned by Riyadh’s Gulf allies.

On the other hand, Yemeni national army and popular resistance forces have taken control over new strategic areas in Osailan front in Shabwa governorate southeastern Yeme \خعمn as violent fighting and artillery shelling continued on various fronts in al-Jawf governorate.

Brigade 19 has regained control over strategic Ould Shmeis Mountains following fierce battles fought against Houthi and Saleh militias in Osailan, field sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Spokesman for Brigade 19 in Osailan Ct. Mutlaq al-Maaroufi said that the army forces have repulsed a violent attack and a smuggling attempt by the militias towards different sites in Ould Shmeis front.

Notably, Ould Shmeis Mountains are considered among the most strategic areas that view the roads leading to some critical oil sites.

Maaroufi said that the national army’s advance coincided with intermittent confrontations in al-Khaidar fronts where the army has carried out an attack on one of Houthi militias’ sites, causing casualties and injuries among the insurgents in addition to capturing a number of militants.