RIYADH: An explosive-laden drone targeting the southern part of the Kingdom was intercepted and destroyed by the Arab coalition backing Yemen’s internationally recognized government on Saturday.
Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the drone was aimed at civilians and civilian facilities in the southern region.
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militias have been launching missile, drone and rocket strikes targeting civilian centers in Saudi Arabia for the past few years.
The secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, condemned the attack and expressed the OIC’s solidarity with Saudi Arabia, supporting the measures it takes to protect its border, citizens and residents.
The coalition forces had intercepted another explosives-laden drone in Yemeni airspace launched by the Houthi militia on Wednesday. Al-Maliki said the launching of the drone shows how the Houthis continue their systematic attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia.
He said the militants are launching ballistic missiles, drones and remotely piloted boats from Yemen’s Hodeidah governorate in violation of international humanitarian law and the Stockholm cease-fire agreement.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for the immediate cessation of such attacks, saying the successful interception of the drone had prevented the loss of innocent lives. The statement reiterates Pakistan’s full support of the Kingdom against any threats to its security and territorial integrity.
Earlier, the US called on Houthi militants in Yemen to stop launching attacks on Saudi Arabia.
“The US remains deeply concerned by the Houthis’ aggression, supported by Iranian weapons shipments in violation of UN arms embargoes,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said.
“We call on the Houthis to immediately cease their cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia and halt their attacks on the city of Marib, where nearly a million Yemenis have sought refuge since the beginning of the war.”