Saudi Arabia shoots down Houthi drones near Khamis Mushait
A statement from the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen said that the Houthis had attempted to target civilian areas in Khamis Mushait, accusing the Yemeni rebels of “war crimes”.
The statement added that the Saudi-led coalition had taken “necessary operational measures to protect civilians”.
The Houthis acknowledged responsibility for the attempted drone strike but their spokesman, Yahya Saree, said on Twitter that the drones had targeted the King Khalid Air Base, a Saudi air force facility near Khamis Mushait.
He added that the group had used Qasef-K2 drones for the attack, which are variants of the Hesa Ababil drones manufactured by Iran.
Iran has expressed support for the Houthi movement but denies that it has provided them with weapons.
This was the second reported Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia in 24 hours.
Earlier on Thursday, the Houthis said that they had targeted “sensitive and important” sites near the Saudi capital Riyadh with drones.
In March, the Houthis rejected a Saudi ceasefire proposal, saying Saudi Arabia must lift a blockade of territory they control first.
The Houthi rebels captured the Yemeni capital Sana’a in 2014, and today control most of northern Yemen.
In 2015, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia intervened against the Houthis, in order to restore the internationally recognised Yemeni government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.
Over 120,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed in the conflict and 10 million more are at risk of famine. The situation in Yemen has been called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the UN.
Both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis have been accused of targeting civilians in Yemen by human rights groups.