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Saudi Arabia Says It Shot Down Drone Launched By Houthis

Saudi Arabia’s Air Force shot down on Friday a drone flying over the Kingdom’s airspace, which the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen said was coming from the Houthi rebels, Saudi state television reported.  

The Iran-aligned Houthi rebels have been fighting a Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen since 2015, and the Houthis have claimed over these years that they have targeted and hit oil facilities of Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Saudi-led coalition, the Houthis were responsible for launching the drone shot down today and were targeting civilians, the Saudi television said.  

Colonel Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said that inspection of the drone debris showed “Iranian characteristics and specifications.”

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV reported that before being shot, the drone had been flying toward residential areas in a town some 230 kilometers (143 miles) north of the Saudi border with Yemen.

According to al-Maliki, several civilians sustained minor injuries from the drone fragments when it was shot down.

he Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen said last summer that they had targeted Saudi Aramco’s refinery in the Saudi capital Riyadh with a long-range drone. 

The Houthi rebels also targeted a Saudi oil tanker in the Bab el Mandeb strait off the Hodeidah port in July last year, although it caused but minimal damage.

In December 2018, Yemen’s warring parties agreed to a UN-brokered ceasefire in and around the key port of Hodeidah, to facilitate the humanitarian access and the flow of goods to the civilian population who are suffering from the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Three weeks after the UN-brokered ceasefire in Hodeidah entered into force, the warring sides continued to trade accusations in January over who had broken the fragile truce.

The Houthis violated the Hodeidah truce 1,112 times between mid-December and mid-February, in which 76 civilians died and 492 were injured, Arab News reported last month, quoting Saudi state news agency SPA.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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