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Saudi Arabia Guns Down Houthi Armed Drone Over Saudi Airport

Houthis protest against airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Sana'a in September 2015.
Houthis protest against airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Sana'a in September 2015. (Photo: Henry Ridgwell, VOA)

“Targeting civil facilities that involve civilians will be confronted with all possible means of deterrence at the disposal of the Arab military coalition.”

The Saudi-led Arab military coalition fighting in Yemen announced on Thursday, May 24, that air defense systems gunned down an explosive-laden drone, believed to be sent by Houthi insurgents in Yemen.

A spokesperson for the coalition, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, wrote on Twitter Thursday that the Saudi air defense systems spotted and intercepted an unmanned drone, laden with explosives, over the Najran national airport. Al-Maliki warned in the strongest terms against such attacks, which he believes the Ansaru Allah Houthi-linked group carried out.

“Targeting civil facilities that involve civilians will be confronted with all possible means of deterrence at the disposal of the Arab military coalition and in accordance with the international norms and humanitarian laws,” Al Maliki wrote.

Al-Malki’s statement came shortly after the Almaseera TV channel that belongs to the Houthi rebels in Yemen reported that a drone, named Bomber 2k, targeted Patriot defense systems in the Najran national airport, in southern Saudi Arabia. Almassera described the Houthi attack as successful.

The same channel reported that on May 21 a blaze ripped through a weaponry warehouse in the same Najran airport, after an explosives-laden drone targeted the Najran airport. Last week, seven drones attacked a key oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia, causing oil pumping to stop for several hours.

During the past five years, following the breakout of a military insurgency in Yemen, the Saudi-led Arab military coalition, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has operated in Yemen against the Houthi group.

The Yemen War led to the end of the 32-year-old regime of Ali Abdallah Saleh, the late Yemeni president. The conflict has also caused the deaths and injuries of many thousands of civilians, including women and children.

Human rights groups allege the Saudi coalition has created a humanitarian crisis in Yemen evidenced by famine and widespread disease. Others maintain the Saudi coalition has bombed civilian targets, including a displaced persons camp and a dairy. More than 1 million people have left Yemen to find refuge in other countries.

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Rami Almeghari

Rami Almeghari is a freelance independent writer, journalist and lecturer, based in the Gaza Strip. Rami has contributed in English to several media outlets worldwide, including print, radio and TV. He can be reached on facebook as Rami Munir Almeghari and on email as [email protected]

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