Saudi-led coalition destroys four Houthi rebel drone sites in Yemen

Operation announced on Sunday comes a day after Saudi Arabia intercepted three Houthi drones

A Saudi F-15 fighter jet lands at the military airbase near Khamis Mushait, about 880 kilometres from Riyadh, as the air force conducts operations over Yemen. Photo: AFP

The Saudi-led Arab Coalition said it destroyed four sites storing drones and launch pads used by Houthi rebels in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

“Air strikes were carried out in line with international humanitarian law and the coalition took precautionary measures to spare civilians from collateral damage,” a coalition spokesman said in a statement reported by the official Saudi Press Agency on Sunday.

The latest operation comes a day after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted three drones launched towards the kingdom’s southern region.

The coalition, which supports Yemen's internationally recognised government, has intensified operations against the Iran-backed rebels in recent weeks, carrying out air raids against the Houthis and their military sites in Sanaa and other Yemeni areas under their control.

Earlier last week, the coalition presented evidence of Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah movement sending experts to train the Houthi rebels in the assembly and launch of ballistic missiles and drones from Sanaa's international airport.

The exhibits included photos of Hezbollah members training Houthi militants to set up explosive-laden drones and satellite images of the airport, which the coalition said was being used to launch attacks on Saudi Arabia.

A recent report published by the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies said that Iran’s Quds force — the overseas operations wing of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — and Hezbollah have played a “critical role in providing weapons, technology, training and other assistance to the Yemen-based Houthis”.

“Not only has there been a rise in the number of attacks against Saudi Arabia over the past year, but Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah continue to provide the Houthis with increasingly sophisticated weapons systems,” the report said.

Updated: January 2nd 2022, 10:20 AM