Yemen’s armed Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah, has repeatedly attacked civil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom organized a military coalition in 2015 to support Yemen’s president-in-exile, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and his fight to retain power against the political opposition.
The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen said on Sunday that an explosive-laden drone fired by Houthis toward the kingdom was intercepted and destroyed, according to Saudi state media.
“Joint Coalition Forces have intercepted and destroyed this afternoon bomb-laden UAVs launched systematically and deliberately by the terrorist Houthi militia to target civilians and civilian objects in (Khamis Mushait),” said spokesman Brigadier General Turki Al-Malki of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, cited by kingdom’s state-run SPA media outlet.
Earlier the day, the coalition reportedly destroyed two other armed drones. Houthi drones attacking areas toward the Abha International Airport in the southwest of the country were also foiled on Friday, according to the coalition spokesperson.
On Wednesday, Riyadh state-run media reported that Houthis had attacked a civilian plane with two armed drones at the same airport. The plane, claimed by the armed Houthi political opposition faction to be military, caught fire.
Active hostilities have continued in Yemen – the poorest nation in the Middle East – since the armed Houthi movement refused to be subject to the current Yemeni government, led by its president-in-exile, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Full war erupted in 2014, after a mass demonstration occurred in some parts of the country as protesters seized key government facilities and Hadi fled to the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Supporting Hadi, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in the conflict in March 2015 and since that time has regularly attacked Houthi camps.