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Saudi-led coalition intercepts drones in latest Houthi attack

Date of publication: 8 July, 2019

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The Saudi-led coalition at war with Houthis in Yemen said its forces intercepted drones fired by the rebels.

The Saudi-led coalition at war in Yemen said Saturday its forces intercepted drones fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels towards the kingdom.

The statement by the Saudi-led coalition said the drones had been launched by the Houthi rebels from Yemen's capital Sanaa, but did not say where the drones had been intercepted.

The coalition denied Houthi claims that the attacks resulted in the suspension of air traffic at two Saudi airports near the country's southern border with Yemen.

The Houthis' Al-Masirah satellite news channel had said the rebels attacked Saudi airports in Abha and Jizan with Qasef-2K drones.

The Houthis have increasingly used drones to target southern Saudi Arabia, including two recent strikes on Abha airport, which have killed one person and wounded more than 30.

The Saudi-led coalition's airstrikes in Yemen have been internationally criticised for killing civilians.

The conflict in Yemen began with the 2014 takeover over of northern and central Yemen by the rebels, driving out the internationally recognised government from the capital, Sanaa.

Months later, in March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign to prevent the rebels, known as Houthis, from overrunning the country's south.

In the campaign, Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties and killed thousands of Yemeni civilians. The Houthis have used drones and missiles to attack Saudi Arabia and have targeted vessels in the Red Sea in response to the deadly raids.

Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict, which has created what the United Nations says is the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The war has killed at least 91,600 people since 2015, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project, or ACLED, which tracks the violence.

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