Coalition in Yemen intercepts drone headed for Saudi airport

Air strikes take heavy toll on Iran-backed Houthi rebels in provinces of Marib and Al Bayda

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen intercepted and destroyed a drone that was launched to attack Saudi Arabia's Abha international airport, state media said early on Thursday.

The coalition said it was taking "operational measures to deal with the sources of hostile cross-border attacks", Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 at the request of the internationally recognised government, to fight the Iran-backed Houthi rebels after they seized the capital Sanaa.

On Sunday, air strikes by the coalition killed 186 Houthi fighters in 24 hours in the provinces of Marib and Al Bayda. The Houthis rarely comment on tolls.

Loyalist military officials said 32 rebels and nine loyalist soldiers had been killed in fighting south of the key Red Sea port city of Hodeidah later on Saturday.

A ceasefire and troop withdrawal was agreed to for Hodeidah in Yemen's last peace talks, in Sweden in 2018, but as the pro-government troops moved out, the rebels maintained a presence there.

Updated: November 17th 2021, 11:29 PM