Houthi attack intercepted by Saudi-led coalition

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RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen intercepted and destroyed three drones and a ballistic missile, on Sunday, launched allegedly by the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

As per the coalition, this attack was aimed at Jazan and Khamis Mushayt in the south of the Kingdom. The coalition said “necessary operational measures in line with international law” would be taken to protect civilians.

The Houthis have increased drone attacks and missile strikes against Saudi Arabia in the past few months. Saudi Arabia sent a proposal for a ceasefire that has met a rejection, and it has been demanded that the Sanaa airport should be reopened for unchecked flights from and to Iran.

New attacks, on Sunday, came as fighting for Yemen’s strategically important Marib city got fierce and killed 70 pro-government and Houthi fighters. The past 24 hours have seen battles raging on three fronts. Houthis have, since February, been trying to capture Marib city. It an oil-rich region and is the government’s last bulwark in northern Yemen.

A pro-government military spokesman alleged the Houthis of launching attacks in the areas of Al-Mashjah, northwest of the city, Kassara and Jabal Murad simultaneously. “They have made significant progress on the Al-Mashjah and Kassara fronts, but they have been thrashed on the Jabal Murad front,” he said.

Coalition-led warplanes launched airstrikes that resulted in the destruction of “almost 12 Houthi military vehicles, including a canon and four tanks,” the spokesman said. UN officials fear that the fall of Marib to Houthis could give birth to a humanitarian disaster, as civilians fighting from elsewhere have sought refuge over there. Nearly 140 sites have come up to provide shelter for 2 million displaced people.

The UAE has also denounced the attacks and pressed the international fraternity to take an “decisive and immediate steps to stop repeated acts targeting civilian installations, energy supplies and the overall security of the Kingdom.

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