Saudi-led coalition downs Houthi drone over Najran
The Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen said its forces downed drones launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement towards a residential area at the Saudi border city of Najran in the first such incident since late March.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki in a statement said that the drones were directed at civilian targets. He said the alliance would continue to take deterrent measures to “neutralise and destroy” Houthi capabilities.
There was no immediate comment from the Houthi group about the attack, which comes after the expiry of a one-month ceasefire announced by the coalition on April 24.
In late March, after the Houthis fired drones and missiles towards the Saudi capital Riyadh and southern parts of the kingdom, which were intercepted, the coalition responded with several air raids on the Houthi-held capital, Sanaa.
There had been a relative lull in violence since the ceasefire was first declared, with the exception of fighting in Yemen’s Al-Jawf and Marib provinces.
With the recent escalation in fighting in Yemen, more than 40,000 people have been displaced since January, adding to the roughly 3.6 million who have fled their homes since the war began.
A number of those fleeing, including women and children, escaped on foot, walking for days without food or water across open desert, according to a recent statement by the United Nations refugee agency.
The Western-backed coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government to power in Sanaa after it was removed from the capital by the Houthis in late 2014.
The war has been in a military impasse for years and UN-led peace efforts have stalled since late 2018. The conflict has killed tens of thousands, triggering what the UN has termed the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Fighting has continued despite repeated calls for a ceasefire as part of global efforts to combat coronavirus, which is spreading in Yemen, with its broken healthcare system struggling to cope with the pandemic.