Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi drone targeting civilians in the south

The kingdom is leading a coalition that is fighting the rebels on behalf of Yemen’s government after the Houthis seized the capital in 2014

epaselect epa08618102 Armed supporters of the Houthi movement hold up their guns while shouting anti-Israel slogans during a protest against the peace agreement to establish diplomatic ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, in Sana’a, Yemen, 22 August 2020. Israel and the UAE reached an agreement to fully normalize relations. Many are against the agreement between the UAE and Israel, as they consider it breaks a consensus between Arab countries not to formalize diplomatic relations with Israel before the establishment of the Palestinian state.  EPA/YAHYA ARHAB
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Saudi Arabia said late on Sunday that it intercepted an explosive-laden drone launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels towards the kingdom's southern region.

The kingdom leads a coalition fighting on behalf of Yemen’s government against the rebels who seized the capital, Sanaa, in 2014.

A coalition statement, carried by the Saudi state news agency SPA, said the drone launched towards civilian targets.

“Houthi militias are continuing  to target civilians and civilian objects in Saudi Arabia. We will work to neutralise and destroy their capabilities in accordance with international humanitarian law,” it said.

The coalition earlier intercepted and destroyed another explosive-laden drone over Yemeni airspace that the Houthis fired towards Saudi Arabia, according to SPA.

Cross-border attacks by the Houthis have increased since late May, when a truce prompted by the coronavirus pandemic ended.

Yemen’s Minister of Information, Muammar Al Eryani, said late on Sunday that the Yemeni army with the support of the coalition had foiled several attacks by the rebels over the previous two days.

The army managed to track and destroy 23 Houthi drones in Sanaa and several cities in the south in August, he said.

The deadliest attack conducted by the rebels was in June when they launched several missiles and drones at Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.

The coalition said at the time that it shot down eight booby-trapped unmanned aircraft launched at civilian targets, as well as "three ballistic missiles from Saada governorate towards the kingdom".

The United Kingdom and other countries have condemned the attacks on Saudi Arabia and urged the Houthis to prove they are serious about finding peace.

The coalition intervened in Yemen's civil war in 2015 to restore the government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

The fallout from the conflict has led the UN to classify Yemen as one of the world’s most desperate humanitarian disasters.