Saudi-led coalition downs ballistic missile aimed at kingdom: SPA

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi movement in Yemen said on Sunday in a statement carried by state news agency SPA that it had intercepted and downed a ballistic missile launched towards civilian targets in southern Saudi Arabia.

Cross-border attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi forces have escalated since late May, when a truce prompted by the coronavirus pandemic expired. In late June, missiles reached the Saudi capital Riyadh. The coalition has retaliated with air strikes.

Al Masirah TV, run by the Iran-aligned Houthis, said on Sunday that Saudi-led coalition air strikes had damaged fuel tanks in a factory in Houthi-held territory.

On Thursday the coalition said it had intercepted and downed an armed drone and two ballistic missiles launched towards southern Saudi Arabia.

Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 to restore the Yemeni government ousted from power in the capital Sanaa by Houthi forces. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.

Reporting by Nafisa Eltahir and Lisa Barrington; Editing by David Goodman and Catherine Evans