April 26, 2018

Houthi rebels launch drone strike on Saudi-owned oil facility

12 April 2018, 08:50 | Lena Norman

Yemeni Forces Fire Ballistic Missile at Saudi Base- Reports

Smoke rises after a Saudi-led airstrike hits an army base in Sanaa Yemen Monday Sept. 14 2015

There were no immediate reports of damage.

Qasefs do not carry missiles but have previously be used as a "suicide drones" to target Saudi air defences in Yemen, the research group said.

Riyadh has been the target of frequent missile attacks since March 2015, when Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries launched a military campaign in Yemen against the Houthis, a group of Iran-backed Shi'ite fighters who had seized the capital.

One man was killed in Riyadh last month by debris after the military shot down a flurry of missiles, the first casualty of the Yemen war in the Saudi capital.

"Saudi Arabia and UAE are very anxious about Iran's influence, so they are seeking to keep some military presence on the Yemeni coasts even if the civil war ends", said the official who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

A video on the TV station's Twitter page said the ballistic missile was sent by the mainly Shia Islamic Houthi rebel movement in Yemen, which is fighting the Saudi-backed Yemeni government. More than 10,000 Yemenis have died in the conflict and millions in the impoverished country have been pushed to the brink of starvation.

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In a response to a request for comment, the coalition denied the allegation.

The Saudi coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen meanwhile said its air defences had shot down two unmanned Yemeni drones in the south of the country.

The United Nations says 10,000 people have died in the three-year-old war, and three out of four Yemenis - 22 million civilians - need relief aid.

Gen. Abdul Karim al-Sinani and the Joint Operations Command of the Arab coalition on Wednesday took part in the victory festivities in the districts of Midi which were liberated from Houthi militias.

One of the drones was targeting the Abha global airport in Asir province, which led to a temporary suspension of air traffic, and a second was approaching a "civilian object" in Jizan province, he said.

Al-Arabiya quoted al-Malki as describing the drone over Abha airport as a "hostile Houthi aircraft with Iranian characteristics".

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