Saudi defences 'intercept' 10 Huthi drones launched at kingdom

Published: 10:29 PM, 19 Jun, 2021
Saudi defences 'intercept' 10 Huthi drones launched at kingdom
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Saudi air defences on Saturday intercepted and destroyed 10 drones fired at the kingdom by Huthi rebels in Yemen, state media reported, quoting the Saudi-led military coalition battling the insurgents.

The official Saudi Press Agency reported that seven of the drones targeted regions in southern Saudi Arabia. Three targeted the Khamis Mushait region, also in the south and home to military installations, it said.

"The interception operations were successful," the coalition said in a statement, adding that the drones were packed with explosives and seven were knocked out in Yemeni air space.

Earlier Saturday the Iran-backed Huthi rebels tweeted that one drone was launched in the morning towards the King Khaled air base in Khamis Mushait.

The developments come as a diplomatic push by the United Nations, the United States and regional countries to secure a ceasefire in Yemen after more than six years of devastating conflict have failed.

The outgoing UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths on Tuesday told the Security Council his own efforts over the past three years to end the war have been "in vain".

"It is with deep regret that I report today that the parties have not overcome their differences," said Griffiths.

Yemen has been devastated by a civil war between the Saudi-backed government and the Iran-backed Huthis since 2014, and millions of civilians are on the brink of famine, according to the UN.

The Saudi-led coalition has controlled Yemen's airspace since it launched a military campaign in 2015 to prop up the country's internationally recognised government.

The Huthis have repeatedly demanded the re-opening of Sanaa airport before any ceasefire.

"We have offered different solutions to bridge (the government and Huthi) positions. Unfortunately, none of these suggestions have been accepted by the parties," Griffiths said on Tuesday.

"I hope that the efforts undertaken by Oman and others following my own visits to Sanaa and Riyadh will bear fruit," he added, referring to mediation efforts.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.