Saudi-led coalition aborts drone attack by Yemen rebels

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SANAA 

The Saudi-led coalition said Wednesday it had intercepted an explosive-laden drone fired by Houti rebels in Yemen towards Saudi Arabia.

“The joint coalition forces were able to intercept and destroy an explosive-laden drone launched by the terrorist Houthi militia in a systematic and deliberate manner to target civilians in the southern region [of Saudi Arabia],” coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki said in a statement.

Wednesday’s drone attack was the second to have been intercepted by the coalition within 24 hours. On Tuesday, the coalition announced the destruction of another explosive-laden Houthi drone launched towards Saudi territories.

Meanwhile, Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree said his group had carried out an attack on the Saudi Abha airport.

The Houthis regularly fire ballistic missiles and drones toward Saudi areas in response to coalition airstrikes on Yemeni areas held by the rebels.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, which has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as millions remain at risk of starvation.

* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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