Saudi forces destroy eight armed drones fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels amid heightened tensions.
The Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen said on Sunday it had destroyed eight armed drones launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, including three fired towards Saudi Arabia, state television channels reported.
The coalition did not specify locations in the kingdom. On Saturday, the coalition said it intercepted seven drones over 24 hours launched towards Khamis Mushait and one towards Jazan, both in southern Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis, which have been battling the military coalition since it intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015, recently stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities, mostly in the south of the kingdom.
The United States and the United Nations have stepped up diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, which is largely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Riyadh and its allies say they are fighting to restore the rule of Yemen’s internationally recognised government, headed by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and removed from power following the Houthis’ takeover of the capital in late 2014.
The Houthis, who now control most of the north, deny being puppets of Tehran and say they are fighting a corrupt system and foreign aggression.
Fighting has also intensified on the ground in Yemen in Marib and Taiz regions. The war, in a military deadlock for years, has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.
Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) said on Friday that Al-Thawra hospital in Taiz had treated 28 people wounded in intense clashes since Wednesday and that the hospital itself was hit by gunfire, injuring three, including a 12-year-old boy.
In Marib, the government’s last northern stronghold, hundreds of fighters from both sides have been killed.