Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 September 2019

Houthi drones injure 5 civilians in Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Air force shot down 2 drones over a southern Saudi city

Weapons supplied by Iran to the Houthi militias in Yemen on display at a press conference by the Saudi-led Arab coalition. Victor Besa / The National 
Weapons supplied by Iran to the Houthi militias in Yemen on display at a press conference by the Saudi-led Arab coalition. Victor Besa / The National 

The Royal Saudi Air force has shot down two Houthi drones they believe were targeting densely populated civilian areas along the Saudi-Yemeni border, according to the official spokesperson for the Arab Coalition.

Colonel Turki Al Maliki said debris caused by the interception of the two drones injured five civilians in Khamis Mushait, a Saudi city 100 kilometres from the Yemeni border.

A woman and her child were among the injured. The fallout also damaged several homes and four vehicles.

Col Al Maliki said Iran-backed Houthis are trying to take advantage of the Arab Coalition's adherence to the ceasefire by targeting civilians inside of Saudi Arabia through remote controlled drones.

“In committing such hostile, terrorist acts, seeks to provoke coalition forces into conducting military operations in [Hodeidah] Governorate,” he said.

Col Al Malki said the coalition will continue to support the political efforts lead by the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, and the chair of the Redeployment Coordination Committee. The UN entities are looking to implement the Stockholm Agreement, whereby the warring sides agreed in December to a ceasefire and full withdrawal from the port city of Hodeidah.

However, reports have shown that the rebels have failed to enact the terms by violating the ceasefire and even launching attacks on UN staff deployed to maintain the peace.

Col Al Maliki sent a warning to the Houthis saying “that their use of such terrorist tactics in suicidal attacks will be categorically and decisively deterred. And that the Joint Forces Command will take all deterring measures in accordance with customary international humanitarian law.”

Meanwhile, an Arab Coalition official told The National that the Houthis are preventing access to vital food sources in the Red Sea Coast region.

The World Food Programme has requested access to the Red Sea Mill, which contains enough wheat to feed 3.7 million people for a month, in order to test the stockpile they fear has rotted.

They were given access in February to begin the tests but now sources are saying that UN and WFP access to the silo has been barred.

"Houthi militias continually delayed this access," the Arab Coalition source added, "After several delays on the Houthi side, it was finally agreed that 120 workers would be able to access the mills from today."

"Unfortunately," they added, "the Houthis have decided to once again renege on a previous commitment, denying the team access to the mills.

"Some 20 million people in Yemen — 70 per cent of the population — are struggling to meet their daily food needs, making this latest Houthi violations a blow to improving Yemeni lives."

Updated: April 3, 2019 01:06 PM

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