Saudi Arabia shoots down two Houthi drones near southwestern city of Khamis Mushait

Saudi Arabia shoots down two Houthi drones near southwestern city of Khamis Mushait
Saudi Arabia says it has shot down two Houthi drones over the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait, less than 24 hours after the Houthis claimed an attack on Riyadh.
2 min read
02 April, 2021
The Houthis said they had targeted a Saudi air base near Khamis Mushait [AFP]

Two drones launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels were shot down on Thursday evening near the southwestern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) has reported.

A statement from the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen said that the Houthis had attempted to target civilian areas in Khamis Mushait, accusing the Yemeni rebels of “war crimes”.

The statement added that the Saudi-led coalition had taken “necessary operational measures to protect civilians”.

The Houthis acknowledged responsibility for the attempted drone strike but their spokesman, Yahya Saree, said on Twitter that the drones had targeted the King Khalid Air Base, a Saudi air force facility near Khamis Mushait.

He added that the group had used Qasef-K2 drones for the attack, which are variants of the Hesa Ababil drones manufactured by Iran.

Iran has expressed support for the Houthi movement but denies that it has provided them with weapons.

This was the second reported Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia in 24 hours.

Earlier on Thursday, the Houthis said that they had targeted “sensitive and important” sites near the Saudi capital Riyadh with drones.

In March, the Houthis rejected a Saudi ceasefire proposal, saying Saudi Arabia must lift a blockade of territory they control first.

Read more: Yemen - Saudi ceasefire proposal clearly designed to appease the US

The Houthi rebels captured the Yemeni capital Sana’a in 2014, and today control most of northern Yemen.

In 2015, a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia intervened against the Houthis, in order to restore the internationally recognised Yemeni government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

Over 120,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed in the conflict and 10 million more are at risk of famine. The situation in Yemen has been called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the UN.

Both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis have been accused of targeting civilians in Yemen by human rights groups.

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