Saudi air defenses shot down seven ballistic missiles fired by Iranian-backed Houthis, with debris killing a man in Riyadh for the first time since the kingdom launched its military campaign in Yemen three years ago. A coalition of Gulf Arab states began operations against the Houthi rebels after they seized Sanaa in 2015 and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee. According to a statement released overnight, Saudi forces destroyed three missiles targeting the northeastern part of the capital as well as four others reportedly fired at the southern cities of Najran, Jizan and Khamis Mushait. Remnants of one missile fell on a residential home in Riyadh, killing an Egyptian citizen and injuring two more. The attack marked the third time in half a year that the Houthis have attempted to strike Riyadh, stepping up their efforts to take the fight directly to Saudi soil. This development risks intensifying the rivalry between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, which has long blamed Tehran for supplying the Houthis with advanced weapons used to target the Saudi mainland. To date, more than 10,000 people have been killed in the Yemen conflict; one million have been infected with cholera; and more than 20 million are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
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