Yemen: Saudi-led coalition intercepts 3 rebel drones

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ANKARA 

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Sunday it had destroyed three explosive-laden drones fired by Houthi rebels towards Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, the coalition said it “intercepted and destroyed an unmanned explosive-laden drone fired by the terrorist Houthi militia towards Khamis Mushait city [in southern Saudi Arabia]”.

The move came shortly after two drones fired by the Iran-aligned rebels towards the same city were shot down.

In a separate statement, the coalition said it destroyed two booby-trapped boats by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, accusing the group of “threatening shipping lines and global trade” in the Red Sea.

There was no immediate comment from the Houthi group regarding the coalition’s statement.

The rebel movement, however, regularly announces rocket and drone attacks on Saudi territories, saying they are a reaction to the Saudi-led coalition’s assault on Yemen.

In recent weeks, the Houthis have intensified attacks with ballistic missiles and drones on Saudi regions despite calls by the US administration for the Houthi group to suspend military operations and return to negotiations.

Last week, Saudi Arabia proposed a UN-supervised cease-fire between Yemen’s Saudi-backed government and Houthi rebels, the reopening of Sanaa International Airport, and the start of negotiations.

Yemen has been ravaged by violence and instability since 2014, when Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with 30 million people accounting for 80% of the population needing humanitarian assistance and protection.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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