Saudi forces destroy booby-trapped 'terror boats' and Houthi drones

Efforts are under way to protect civilians in the kingdom against further attacks

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said it destroyed two explosives-laden boats and shot down three drones launched by Houthi rebels on Sunday.

The booby-trapped vessels were intercepted moments before impact, said Brig Gen Turki Al Malki, spokesman for the coalition.

Coalition forces also shot down three drones, one targeting Saudi Arabia's south-western region of Khamis Mushait and two others also aimed at the south of the country, Brig Gen Turki Al Malki said.

It was not immediately clear where the boats were intercepted, nor their intended target.

Efforts are under way to protect civilians in the kingdom against further attacks, said the coalition spokesman.

Saudi Arabia has been building what analysts call "layered air defences" to deal with the threat of Houthi drones, which attack at low altitude, and ballistic missiles, which attack from high altitudes.

The UAE condemned the attempted attacks, saying these aimed to target civilians in a "systematic and deliberate" manner.

"These systematic terrorist attacks by the Houthi group reflect its blatant disregard for the international community and all international laws and norms," the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.

The UAE called on the international community to take "immediate" and "decisive" actions to stop further aggression.

"The continued threat of these attacks in recent days is a grave escalation that represents new evidence of these militias' attempts to undermine security and stability in the region."

Last week, Saudi Arabia presented a plan for peace to end the conflict in Yemen.

The kingdom intervened in Yemen a year after the Iran-backed Houthis took over the capital, Sanaa in 2014.

Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Ali Al Houthi said he would accept an "honourable" peace with Saudi Arabia with the caveat of ending the so-called "blockade" and coalition military operations in Yemen.

"We are not involved in any plan until we receive it officially," he wrote on Twitter on Thursday.

Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia have intensified in recent weeks.

Saudi Arabia's peace initiative includes re-opening Sanaa International Airport to specific destinations and resuming talks between the warring sides, in addition to allowing fuel to enter through the port of Hodeidah – the entry point for most of the country's aid and food supplies.

The UN has described Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Over 80 per cent of its population depends on international assistance.

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