Saudi-led coalition intercepts Houthi explosive-laden drones
CAIRO – The Saudi-led coalition intercepted two Houthi explosives-laden drones fired at the kingdom’s southern region and the city of Khamis Mushait, state TV reported early on Friday.
“We will take all necessary measures to protect civilians per international law,” the coalition said.
The Houthi military spokesman said on Twitter the militias launched an attack with a drone on an Aramco facility in the south-western Saudi city of Jizan as well as targeting the King Khalid air base with two drones.
The Saudi-led coalition made no immediate confirmation of the Jizan attack.
The military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen against the Iran-aligned Houthis in 2015. In recent months, the militias have stepped up cross-border drone and missile attacks on Saudi cities.
The coalition says it intercepts the majority of assaults.
A top US general, speaking hours earlier, said Washington continued to support the Kingdom in the face of these attacks.
On Wednesday, US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking said his biggest fear was a Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia that could kill American residents.
There are about 70,000 US citizens living in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, Lenderking said, and “it is our greatest fear that Americans will be killed in a Houthi attack.”
Lenderking also told US lawmakers that Iran supports the Houthis in several ways including through training, providing lethal support and helping them “fine tune” their drone and missile programmes.
Iran has denied supporting the Houthis. A spokesman for Iran’s mission to the United Nations in New York dismissed Lenderking’s remarks as unsubstantiated claims against Iran.
Fighting in Yemen has intensified in recent days as the Houthis push their offensive to take Marib, which if successful would strengthen the movement’s hand in any future political negotiations.