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President Trump briefed on missile strike in Saudi Arabia: Spokesman

President Trump briefed on missile strike in Saudi Arabia: Spokesman”

He reiterated that Saudi Arabia has the right to take any measure that would deter such hostile acts.

The rebels, who have faced persistent coalition bombing since March 2015 which has exacted a heavy civilian death toll, have stepped up missile and drone attacks across the border in recent weeks.

Last week, a rebel missile hit an global airport in Abha, Saudi Arabia, wounding 26 people.

The White House said on Thursday that President Donald Trump had been briefed about reports of a missile strike on Saudi Arabia, without offering details.

Pentagon spokeswoman Navy Commander Rebecca Rebarich meanwhile said such attacks were "a significant cause for concern and [put] innocent lives at risk".

A cruise missile launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels struck a Saudi desalination station near al-Shuqaiq city on Thursday, Saudi-led coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki was quoted as saying by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Saudi Arabia accuses its regional arch-rival Iran of being behind the attacks, either directly or through supporting the Huthi rebels.

The Yemen conflict is widely seen as a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, though the Huthis deny taking orders from Tehran.

Following recent rebel attacks, Saudi state media has reported the coalition was intensifying its air raids on rebel positions in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah and the rebel-held capital Sanaa.

To counter Iran's threats, the United States military has sent forces including aircraft carriers, B-52 bombers and troops to the Middle East.

A bloody civil war in Yemen has been called a "proxy war" between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite-led Iran.

In the latest flashpoint on Thursday, Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard force said it shot down a USA "spy drone" over its territory, according to Iranian state television reports.

The news agency said that no one had been hurt and that no material damage had been done.

The civil war in Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, has created what the United Nations calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with an estimated 24 million people - over 80 percent of the country's population - now in need of humanitarian assistance.



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