The coalition led Saudi fighting in Yemen mentioned that it intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile that was fired by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement toward the southern part of the kingdom on Tuesday following the interception of several drones launched the night earlier.

Violence has increased between the Western-backed alliance and the Houthi group following a six-week ceasefire in place due to the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic expired the previous month.

Yemen Crisis

Bab Al Yemen, Sanaa, Yemen
Bab Al Yemen, Sanaa, Yemen Wikimedia Commons

A coalition statement said the missile was launched towards the southern region of Najran. It earlier said that it had destroyed several armed drones fired towards the southern city of Khamis Mushait late on Monday. A Houthi military spokesman said in a Twitter post that the Khamis Mushait attack was in response to coalition airstrikes. There was no immediate confirmation of the missile attack.

On Monday, the Houthi health minister said in a Twitter post that a coalition airstrike killed 13 people, including four children, in Saada province. A coalition spokesman did not immediately respond to a Reuters' request for comment. In the Houthi-held capital Sanaa on Tuesday, several residents said coalition warplanes struck military sites south and west of the city.

Coalition Carried Out Airstrikes on Houthi Targets

The coalition later said it had carried out heavy airstrikes on Houthi targets in Sanaa and neighbouring Omran provinces, Saudi state-run Ekhbariya news reported from a coalition statement, without further details. The Houthis ousted Yemen's Saudi-backed government from Sanaa in late 2014, prompting the coalition to intervene.

The uptick in violence comes as Yemen combats the spread of the novel coronavirus among an acutely malnourished population. The United Nations says the virus is spreading unmitigated in a country with shattered health systems and inadequate testing capabilities and that infections are likely much higher than official reports.

The Saudi-backed government based in the south has announced 834 cases, including 208 deaths. The Houthis, who control most big urban centers, have not provided figures since May 16 when authorities said there were four cases, with one death.

(With agency inputs)