US renews call for aid to enter Yemen in wake of Houthi missile launch

US renews call for aid to enter Yemen in wake of Houthi missile launch
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The U.S. reiterated on Tuesday its call to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid into Yemen after the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels there said the group had fired a ballistic missile toward Riyadh. 

Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for the State Department, condemned the missile launch in a statement, calling on the Saudi-led coalition and Houthi rebels to cease hostilities and end the conflict that has plunged Yemen further into humanitarian crisis.

"We remain deeply disturbed by aggressive Houthi actions supported by Iran’s provision of advanced weapons, which threaten regional security and prolong the Yemen conflict," Nauert said.

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"The United States calls on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to stop arming and enabling the Houthis’ violent actions against Yemen’s neighbors, including Saudi Arabia," she added. 

Saudi Arabia said Tuesday that it had intercepted the ballistic missile south of its capital city. The missile was reportedly headed toward a residential area in Riyadh, according to the Saudi state news agency. 

The U.S. and the Saudi-led coalition have blamed Iran for backing the Houthis and supplying missiles to the rebel group. Tehran has denied allegations that it has supplied weapons to the Houthis. 

The reported missile launch on Tuesday was the Houthis' second since last month, when the group launched a rocket deep in Saudi Arabia that was intercepted near the Riyadh international airport. 

The Saudi-led coalition imposed a blockade of Yemeni ports after the November missile launch, exacerbating a dire humanitarian situation in the country that has put millions of people on the verge of famine.