Saudi-led coalition hits Yemen rebel drone site: spokesman

Riyadh: The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen raided a drone facility used by Huthi rebels at an airbase in the capital Sanaa, a spokesman said.

The coalition has ramped up attacks on such sites after the Iran-aligned rebels warned last month they could launch attacks against the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which lead the military coalition against them.

The latest raid late Wednesday targeted “drone maintenance sites, a communications system and locations of drone experts and operators” at the Al-Dulaimi base adjoining the airport in rebel-held Sanaa, the official Saudi Press Agency quoted coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki as saying.

The Huthi-controlled Saba news agency said 13 air strikes targeted the base and airport.

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The coalition last month said it targeted a cave in Sanaa used by Huthi rebels to stockpile drones.

The raid came after the coalition reported last month that Saudi air defences had intercepted two drones launched by Huthi rebels that targeted Khamis Mushait, home to a major airbase in the southwest of the kingdom.

And in January the Huthis launched a drone attack on Yemen’s largest airbase, Al-Anad, north of the southern port of Aden, during a military parade.

Eleven people were wounded in the attack, including Yemen’s deputy chief of staff Major General Saleh al-Zandani who later died of his injuries.

Seven other loyalists — including a high-ranking intelligence official — were killed in the attack.

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Yemen is mired in a grinding conflict between the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels and a government backed up by a Saudi-led coalition.

The Saudi-led coalition launched its first raids on rebel strongholds in March 2015 in a bid to bolster President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, who now lives in Riyadh.

Since then the conflict has killed some 10,000 people, according to the World Health Organization, although human rights groups say the toll could be five times higher.

The unrest has also pushed the country to the brink of famine.


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