In a rare announcement, Saudi Arabia has admitted that at least 37 people have been injured in a Yemeni missile attack carried out in response to the kingdom’s military aggression against the impoverished neighbor.
The Yemeni army and popular committees backed by the Houthi Ansarullah movement fired the missile at a Saudi National Guard camp in the southern province of Najran on late Wednesday.
Saudi officials said they had “intercepted” the missile and the injuries were caused by shrapnel, Saudi-owned news channel Al Arabiya reported on Thursday night.
According to the report, 23 of the injured were taken to hospital while the remaining 14 were treated on site. The debris also damaged 19 cars and 15 buildings.
Dozens of people were evacuated as a result of the attack, the report added.
The latest strike by Yemeni forces brings the tally of missile attacks to 185 since the beginning of the war in March 2015, the Saudi coalition says, adding that at least 112 people have been killed in the attacks. This is among the very few official figures that Riyadh has allowed to be released on its own death toll throughout the war.
Saudi Arabia and its regional allies, including the United Arab Emirates, have been ruthlessly pounding Yemen’s infrastructure over the course of the war, killing and injuring over 600,000 people.
They have also effectively put Yemen under siege by blocking all major aerial and maritime gateways to the country, worsening a severe shortage of food and medicine that has led to widespread famine and disease outbreaks.
Since 2016, more than 2,000 Yemenis have died in what the World Health Organization has called the worst cholera outbreak ever recorded.
In late 2017, the organization estimated that one million Yemenis, 600,000 of them children, were likely to contract the disease by the year-end.
The imposed war entered a new chapter several weeks ago, when the Saudi-led coalition attacked Yemen’s western port city of Hudaydah in coordination with militant groups faithful to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Masour Hadi.
Saudis say the war is aimed at reinstating Hadi and removing the Houthis from power.
The Houthis, however, have pledged to step up and continue their missile attacks against Saudi military bases and oil facilities in retaliation for the years-long carnage.
They have baffled observers by operating and at times, upgrading, the Yemeni army’s cache of short- to mid-range ballistic missiles.