Saudi-led coalition intercepts 'explosive-laden drones' launched by Houthi rebels

Saudi-led coalition intercepts 'explosive-laden drones' launched by Houthi rebels
2 min read
10 September, 2020
Saudi coalition forces claimed to have intercepted two Houthi drones in the space of a few hours, the second of which was destroyed over the Saudi city of Najran
Tribesmen loyal to the Houthis attend a gathering in June 2020 [Getty]
The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen announced on Thursday that it had intercepted and destroyed a drone carrying explosives over the southern Saudi city of Najran, the state news agency SPA reported.

The drone was the second launched from Yemen in several hours.

Houthi rebels have stepped up cross-border drone attacks on the kingdom in recent months.

Earlier this week, the Houthis claimed to have targeted Saudi Arabia's Abha Airport twice in less than 48 hours.

Speaking after the second such attack on Tuesday, the group's military spokesman Yahya Saree said it was a response to "the continued escalation by the forces of aggression and their siege of the great Yemeni people".

"Our operations will continue as long as the aggression and blockade continues," Saree warned.

Two days previously, the group dispatched eight drones into the kingdom in a seperate attack.

The more recent drone launch prompted a public response by the Saudi-led coalition. The official Saudi Press Agency cited spokesman for the coalition, Colonel Turki Al-Maliki, confirming the attack and its interception.

Yemen has been locked in conflict since the Houthis took control of the capital Sanaa in 2014 and went on to seize much of the north.

Read also: UAE, Saudi Arabia let Israel send intelligence agents into Yemen: reports

The crisis escalated when a Saudi-led coalition intervened the following year to support Yemen's internationally-recognised government. Waves of Saudi air strikes have killed thousands and a blockade has devastated the country.

More than 100,000 people have been killed since the intervention, while millions have been displaced internally and externally.

Some 24 million Yemenis - four-fifths of the population - are dependent on some form of humanitarian aid, according to the UN.

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