Saudi-led coalition downs rebel drone from Yemen

RIYADH (AA): The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Thursday it had intercepted and destroyed an explosives-laden drone fired by Houthi rebels towards Saudi Arabia.

“An explosives-laden unmanned drone launched by the terrorist Houthi militia towards Khamis Mushait was intercepted and destroyed,” the coalition said in a statement carried by official Saudi Al-Ikhbariya TV.

The coalition asserted that “the militia’s hostile attempts are systematic and deliberate to target civilians and civilian objects.”

For his part, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said: “The Air Force (of the group) carried out an attack operation against King Khalid Airbase in Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia, with a 2K Qasef drone.”

He stressed that “the operation targeted an important military site and the strike was accurate.”

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

It has since caused one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with 80% of the population in need of assistance and protection.