Explosive-laden Houthi drone intercepted, Coalition official says

In recent times, Houthi airstrikes targeting Saudi territory have intensified despite all international efforts deployed to ensure a nationwide ceasefire in Yemen.

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Saudi State TV reported on Wednesday that local air defense system intercepted and destroyed an explosive-laden drone. According to the statement made by the Arab Coalition, an airstrike launched by Yemen’s Houthi group targeted Jazan province, located in the south of the Kingdom.

Stressing that the Iranian-aligned group continues its offensive deliberately targeting civilians in Saudi Arabia, a Coalition official said, “We are taking operational measures to protect civilians and deal with the imminent threat.”

In recent times, it has been seen that the Houthi group accelerated its airstrikes towards Saudi soil, in spite of the UN-brokered and US-supported international efforts to bring an end to the years-long war in Yemen. On Tuesday, it was reported that Saudi air defenses destroyed a booby-trapped drone targeting the southern city of Khamis Mushait.

Besides, the Saudi-led Arab Coalition reported that 21 drone attacks towards Saudi territory had been intercepted and destroyed during the last weekend. Citing from the coalition official, the Saudi official news agency notified that “The interception was successfully carried out in Yemeni airspace, and the hostile attempt was repelled.”

The accelerated Houthi attacks came while the US is downsizing its military presence in the region, including Patriot batteries and an anti-missile system, called THAAD, deployed to Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, Coalition officials believe that the US downsizing would not affect Saudi air defense.

Speaking with reporters, Coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki Al Maliki said, “We have a strong understanding with our allies about the threat in the region. We do have the capability to defend our country.”

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