Coalition forces bring down Houthi rebel drones targeting Abha and Jizan

Yemeni rebels also fired a missile from a civilian area that failed to cross the border

FILE PHOTO: A projectile and a drone launched at Saudi Arabia by Yemen'S Houthis are displayed at a Saudi military base, Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Stephen Kalin/File Photo
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Yemen's Houthi rebels launched two drone attacks on Saudi Arabia that were intercepted, the Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen's government said.

Spokesman Colonel Turki Al Malki said coalition forces shot down a drone launched from Sanaa province towards the Saudi city of Abha, as well as another launched from Amran province towards the city of Jizan on Thurdsay evening.

Both cities have been targeted repeatedly by the Iran-backed rebels, who have stepped up their drone and missile attacks in recent months.

Col Al Malki's statement, reported by the official Saudi Press Agency, did not address a claim by the rebels that the attack was directed at the Abha airport control tower and had disrupted air traffic.

The coalition spokesman said the rebels also launched a missile from Hajjah on Wednesday night that landed inside the province, which lies the Red Sea coast south of the Saudi border.

The missile was fired from the site of a weekly market, in violation of international laws against using civilian areas to launch military attacks, Col Al Malki said.

The Houthis used a similar tactic on June 20, when they fired a missile from the campus of Al Iman University in Sanaa, the rebel held Yemeni capital. That missile landed in Al Jawf province, Col Al Malki said.

The rebel attacks undermine ongoing efforts by the UN special envoy Martin Griffiths to end the civil war triggered by the Houthi seizure of Sanaa in September 2014. The coalition, in which the UAE plays a leading role, intervened in the war in March the following year at the request of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, who was forced to flee Sanaa and seek refuge in Saudi Arabia.