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. Six of the wounded are Saudis and one is a Bangladeshi national, Saudi media said.
Shrapnel also smashed into nearby cars and shops.
The fatal cross-border attack marks an escalation in Yemen’s long-running civil war. Saudi-led military coalition airstrikes struck Sanaa earlier on Friday, hitting a military camp near the city center, Saudi media reported. Houthi media said the strikes had hit a populated neighborhood, damaging homes.
On Saturday, Yemeni Brig. Gen. Yehia Sarie, a Houthi spokesperson, said the rebels fired three ballistic missiles on Jizan, targeting what he described as “vital and sensitive” sites there. He provided no further details.
Yemen’s war erupted in 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthis seized Sanaa and much of the country’s north. Months later, the U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition intervened to oust the Houthis and restore the internationally recognized government. The war has settled into a stalemate and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
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. Within Yemen, the Saudi-led bombing campaign has drawn international criticism for hitting non-military targets such as hospitals and wedding parties in the Arab world’s most impoverished nation.
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. Although the regional powerhouses recently have engaged in Bagdad-brokered talks to cool down tensions, a political settlement in Yemen remains elusive.