Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

Arab Coalition strikes target drone facility in rebel-held Sanaa

There were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage.

An Iranian-built drone, used by Houthi rebels in Yemen, and captured by the Arab Coaliton. Victor Besa / The National
An Iranian-built drone, used by Houthi rebels in Yemen, and captured by the Arab Coaliton. Victor Besa / The National

The Arab coalition in Yemen struck Houthi targets in the capital Sanaa, Saudi state TV reported early on Wednesday.

The coalition said the strikes targeted a Houthi drones manufacturing plant and a store containing launch pads. There were no immediate reports of any casualties or damage.

Saudi Arabia has witnessed increased drone attacks in April. The Saudi air force intercepted two separate Houthi drones targeting civilian cities in the south of Saudi Arabia. Debris from the first attack injured 5 Saudi nationals and destroyed property.

The attack on the rebel-held capital took place early on Wednesday and aimed to destroy what the coalition believes are the manufacturing sites for Houthi-made drones. The Arab coalition accuses Iran of providing the Houthis with the technology for the unmanned aircraft – a claim Tehran denies.

Saudi state TV quoted the coalition as saying that the Houthis typically deploy the manufacturing sites close to civilian residences to deter strikes.

“We are launching a targeted attack on Sanaa, we ask civilians not to approach the targeted sites for their own safety,” El Ekhbariya quoted the Arab Coalition as saying.

The strikes come amid a shaky ceasefire in the port city of Hodeidah. The coalition accuses the Houthis of continuing aggressive military deployments within the Red Sea city. Staff from the UN entity overlooking the peace deal have reported attacks on convoys carrying personnel.

Failure in the ceasefire has raised concerns from humanitarian organisations who say they can’t access roads leading to those in need of aid most.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition that has been fighting the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement in neighbouring Yemen since March 2015. The war has killed tens of thousands and driven 14 million on the brink of famine.

Updated: April 10, 2019 10:24 AM

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