Coalition intercepts Houthi drone fired at Saudi Arabia

The drone was launched from the Yemeni capital of Sanaa

Spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition Colonel Turki Al-Maliki talks during an interview with AFP in the capital Riyadh, on May 21, 2019. Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said two missiles were shot down between Jeddah and Taiz districts of Mecca province but did not elaborate on the suspected target or who fired them. / AFP / FAYEZ NURELDINE

The Saudi-led coalition intercepted a Houthi rebel drone fired from the country’s capital towards the kingdom on Monday.

Coalition spokesman Col Turki Al Malki said the attempt by the Iranian backed rebel group had been prevented and said that the international forces would continue to use deterrent measures against the “terrorist militia to neutralise and destroy these capabilities".

The latest attempt is just one of the hundreds of such strikes directed at the kingdom by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In recent months, the rebels have increased the frequency of such attacks and several have caused damage and death.

In May, two pumping stations on the Saudi East-West oil pipeline were damaged by weaponised drones. On June 12, the Houthis fired an Iranian made Ya Ali cruise missiles at the southern Saudi airport of Abha wounding 26 civilians. The airport was hit again on June 23 and again on June 25.

Houthi media reported a similar attempt at the weekend, however, there was no confirmation by the coalition.

In response to the June attacks, coalition jets struck military targets in and around Sanaa.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 to back the internationally recognised government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital and pushed south.

With the coalition’s support, pro-government forces have pushed the Houthis out of Aden and much of the south.