Yemeni rebel attack on southern Saudi Arabia kills 2 people

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A Yemeni rebel attack on Saudi Arabia’s southern border town of Jizan killed two people and wounded seven more late Friday, Saudi state-run media reported.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched a projectile that killed a Saudi citizen and Yemeni resident in the southwestern Saudi province of Jizan, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. Saudi media reported that six of those injured were Saudis, while one was a Bangladeshi national.

Shrapnel also smashed into nearby cars and shops.

The fatal cross-border attack marks an escalation in Yemen’s long-running civil war. Saudi media reports that the Saudi-led military coalition had earlier struck Sanaa on Friday. The strike hit a military camp close to the center of Sanaa. Houthi media reported that the strike had damaged homes and struck a residential area.

There was no immediate comment from the Houthis on the reported strike on Jizan.

Yemen’s war erupted in 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthis seized Sanaa and much of the country’s north. The U.S.-backed Saudi coalition intervened months later to expel the Houthis from power and reinstate the internationally recognised government. This war ended in a deadlock and has caused the worst humanitarian crisis on earth.

Throughout the conflict, the Houthis have increasingly staged drone attacks and fired missiles across the border at airports, oil facilities and military installations within the kingdom.

Those assaults have rarely caused substantial damage, but over the years have wounded dozens and rattled global oil markets. The Saudi-led bombardment campaign against Yemen has been criticized for striking non-military targets, such as weddings and hospitals in Yemen.

Yemen’s civil war has killed some 130,000 people, including thousands of civilians.

Earlier this week the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, reported that attacks by the Houthi rebels on Saudi Arabia have more than doubled this year from last year. Based on an analysis of thousands of Houthi attacks between 2016 and 2021, it said Houthi attacks on the kingdom averaged 78 a month this year, compared to 38 a month last year.

The cross-border assaults provide a broader view of the regional proxy war between Tehran and Riyadh. Even though the major regional powers have been engaged in talks in Bagdad to ease tensions, there is still no way for Yemen to be peacefully resolved.

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