Three civilians killed as Yemen's Houthi rebels down Saudi drone over Sanaa

Three civilians killed as Yemen's Houthi rebels down Saudi drone over Sanaa
Three civilians were killed after a Saudi drone shot down by Yemen's Houthi rebels fell in a residential area of the capital Sanaa
2 min read
24 May, 2022
The Saudi drone was downed over a residential area of Sanaa [Getty]

Yemen's Houthi rebels said on Monday evening that three people were killed in the country's capital Sanaa when a drone aircraft crashed in a residential area after being shot down.

Sanaa has been controlled by the Houthis since 2014. In that year, the group forced the internationally recognised government into exile. A Saudi-led coalition entered the war in early 2015 to try to restore the government to power.

In a statement, the rebels said that their air defence system downed the surveillance drone and that it belonged to the Saudi-led coalition.

Video from the scene showed what appeared to be a damaged pilotless aircraft in a street surrounded by security forces and onlookers.

Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree said on Twitter that it was a Chinese-made CH4 drone.

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"The drone was downed with a locally-made surface-to-air missile after it violated the ceasefire and carried out hostile activity in the skies of the capital Sanaa," he added.

Anis Al-Asbahi, a spokesman for the Houthi-run health ministry in the capital, said that three people were killed and three wounded as a result of the downing, adding that the drone had fallen in Hedda Street in central Sanaa.

There is a truce in place in war-torn Yemen that is set to expire at the beginning of June. United Nations officials, who helped broker the ceasefire, have said they hope it could be extended.

The truce is the first nationwide cease-fire in six years in Yemen’s war.

Mohammed Abdul Salam, the Houthis' chief negotiator, said that the drone's flight over Sanaa showed that the Saudi-led coalition was not respecting the ceasefire.

"If Yemeni drones were flying over [Saudi Arabia], the United Nations and other parties would react very differently," he added.

"We hold the aggressor countries responsible for the consequences of these provocations and hostile acts."

The Saudi-led coalition did not comment on the shooting down of the drone.

Agencies contributed to this report.