Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

Saudi forces intercept two more Houthi drones from Yemen

Human Rights Watch denounced an earlier strike as an apparent 'war crime'

A drone used by Houthi rebels to launch attacks on Saudi Arabia. AP
A drone used by Houthi rebels to launch attacks on Saudi Arabia. AP

Saudi forces have intercepted two explosives-laden Houthi rebel drones, one of which targeted a southern city that has repeatedly come under attack over the past week.

One of the drones was aimed at a civilian area in Abha city and the second was shot down over Yemeni air space after it was launched towards the kingdom, the Arab Coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels told the official Saudi Press Agency.

The coalition reported no casualties from the attacks late on Monday.

The Houthi's Al Masirah TV reported earlier that the rebels launched drone attacks on Abha airport, which they have repeatedly targeted over the past week.

They claimed another drone strike on Abha airport early on Monday but it was not confirmed by the Coalition.

Last Wednesday, the Coalition said a rebel missile attack on Abha airport wounded 26 civilians, drawing promises of "stern action".

Human Rights Watch denounced the strike as an apparent war crime, urging the Houthis to immediately stop all attacks on civilian centres in Saudi Arabia.

The rebels have intensified missile and drone attacks across the border in recent weeks and said that airports in Coalition member countries were valid targets.

The attacks come amid regional tension with Iran, which has been arming the rebels with sophisticated weapons.

After recent rebel attacks, Saudi state media reported the Coalition had been intensifying its air raids on rebel centres in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah and the rebel-held capital Sanaa.

The coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognised Yemeni government in 2015, when it was driven out of the capital Sanaa.

Since then, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say.

It has triggered what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 24 million Yemenis – or more than two thirds of the population – in need of aid.

Updated: June 19, 2019 01:13 AM

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