Yemen drone heading for Saudi Arabia destroyed as heavy Marib fighting continues

Yemen drone heading for Saudi Arabia destroyed as heavy Marib fighting continues
Saudi warplanes have struck targets in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, after intercepting Houthi drones which the kingdom said were heading for civilian airports.
2 min read
20 December, 2021
Saudi warplanes have halted Houthi advances in the Al-Balaq mountain region [Getty]

The Arab coalition in Yemen has intercepted and destroyed a drone heading toward southwestern Saudi Arabia on Sunday, according to Saudi state TV.

The drone was launched from Sanaa International Airport and was aimed at Saudi's King Abdullah Airport in Jizan, Saudi media has claimed. 

The Saudi-led coalition responded with airstrikes later on Sunday on what it has described as "legitimate military targets" in the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.

General Turki Al-Malki, the spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition, called on Yemeni civilians to avoid sites it planned to target.

Houthi-run Al Masirah TV - which has controlled northern Yemen since 2014 - said the coalition airstrikes hit a car maintenance workshop in the Bani Al-Harith area north of Sanaa and also damaged homes.

Live Story

Battle for Marib

Over the weekend the Saudi warplanes carried out 19 air raids in the governates of Marib and Al-Jawf, the last pro-government strongholds in northern Yemen, killing at least 80 Houthi fighters and destroying 14 military vehicles.

Live Story

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels have made major advances in the oil-rich region over the past few months, after allying with local tribal leaders but recent Saudi airstrikes have inflicted heavy losses on rebel fighters, forcing them to retreat.

The United Nations envoy Hans Grundberg has called for "restraint, de-escalation, and dialogue" amid the fighting. 

Thousands of combatants and civilians have been killed since February when the Houthis renewed an offensive to seize control of Marib.