Saudi Arabia downs Houthi drone as kingdom asks UN for help

The attempted drone attack is the latest in a string of intensifying strikes by the Iran-backed Houthi militia

The Arab Coalition said on Wednesday it destroyed a drone launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia and aimed at the southern region of Saudi Arabia.

Gen Turki Al-Malki, spokesman for the coalition, said the attack was launched "in a systematic and deliberate manner to target civilians and civilian objects in the southern region".

The drone was laden with explosives, according to the coalition which is fighting to restore the internationally recognised government in Yemen.

"We are monitoring and following up on hostile activity."

Earlier on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council demanding that action be taken against the Houthi militia for their increased attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia.

The letter, by the kingdom's permanent representative to the UN, Abdallah Al Mouallimi, called on the Security Council "to continue shouldering its responsibility towards the Houthi militias backed by Iran to stop their threats to international peace and security and to hold them accountable".

"Such acts of terrorism continue to jeopardise the efforts of [the] United Nations to reach a comprehensive political solution in Yemen," Mr Al Mouallimi said.

On Tuesday, flying shrapnel from a projectile fired by the Houthi wounded five civilians in the southern city of Jazan. The attack damaged two houses, a grocery shop and three civilian vehicles.

Last month, the Houthis fired rockets and drones at Abha Airport in south-west Saudi Arabia on several occasions, damaging a plane in one attack.

The US, France the UK and others condemned the attacks on Saudi Arabia, and Washington last month vowed to help the kingdom to strengthen its air defences.

The Biden administration slapped sanctions on two senior Houthi military leaders on Tuesday for prolonging the Yemen war and exacerbating the country's humanitarian crisis.