Saudi-led coalition blames Iran for supporting Houthi rebels in Yemen, after the kingdom's air defences intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern part of Saudi Arabia on Friday.

A ballistic missile is seen after it was fired toward the Saudi capital of Riyadh from an undisclosed location in Yemen, in this handout photo released December 19, 2017 by the Houthi movement's War Media.
A ballistic missile is seen after it was fired toward the Saudi capital of Riyadh from an undisclosed location in Yemen, in this handout photo released December 19, 2017 by the Houthi movement's War Media. (Reuters)

A ballistic missile intercepted over southern Saudi Arabia on Friday served as proof that Iran is supporting the Shia Houthi rebels, said a member of the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen.

It came after Riyadh intercepted a ballistic missile over the kingdom's south near the border with Yemen on Friday, reported by state media, hours after Yemeni rebels said they had launched an attack.

"This hostile act by the Iran-backed Houthis proves the Iranian regime remains implicated in supporting the armed Houthis," Saudi Arabia's state news agency SPA quoted a coalition statement as saying.

The Houthi rebels, locked in a war against Yemen's Saudi-backed government, said they had fired a missile at the kingdom's southwestern province of Najran in a statement tweeted by their al Masirah television channel.

Saudi air defences intercepted the ballistic missile over Najran, according to the kingdom's state-owned al Ekhbariya news channel.

A spokesman for the Saudi-led military alliance did not immediately respond to a request for further details.

Allegations over Iran

Saudi Arabia, which has been targeted by multiple rocket attacks in recent weeks, has blamed its regional rival Iran for arming the Houthis in the Yemen war.

The kingdom denounced the threat of "Iranian-manufactured ballistic weapons" after it intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen over Riyadh in December.

No casualties have been reported in the attacks.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in support of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government in March 2015, after the Houthis took over the capital Sanaa and much of the rest of the country.

But despite the coalition's superior firepower, the rebels still control the capital and much of the north.

More than 8,750 people have been killed since the coalition intervened, according to the World Health Organization.

Source: AFP