DUBAI, July 3 (Reuters) – The Saudi-led military coalition battling the Houthis in Yemen said on Friday it had destroyed four explosive-laden drones launched by the Iran-aligned group in the direction of Saudi Arabia, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.
The drones were intercepted over territory controlled by the Houthis in Yemen, the agency said, citing a statement from the command of the coalition, made up mainly of Saudi and United Arab Emirates forces.
Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saria tweeted that Houthi forces had in fact hit their targets — a control room at Najran airport, weapons storages in King Khalid air base and other military targets — “with high accuracy”.
The Western-backed coalition on Wednesday announced the launch of a new military operation against the Houthis after they stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia.
Last week, Houthi fighters fired missiles that reached the Saudi capital Riyadh in the first such assault since a six-week ceasefire, prompted by the novel coronavirus epidemic, expired in late May. The coalition said it had intercepted the attack.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed internationally-recognised government from the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.
The conflict is largely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
(Reporting by Maher Chmaytelli; Additional reporting by Hesham Abdul Khalek; Writing by Raya Jalabi; Editing by Alison Williams and Kevin Liffey)