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AFP
June 15, 2019

Saudi Arabia intercepts five Yemeni rebel drones

World

AFP
June 15, 2019

RIYADH: Saudi forces on Friday intercepted five drones launched by Iran-aligned Yemeni rebels, a Riyadh-led military coalition said, in a second assault on an airport in the kingdom’s southwest in two days.

The drones targeted Abha airport, where a rebel missile on Wednesday left 26 civilians wounded, and the nearby city of Khamis Mushait, which houses a major airbase, the coalition said in a statement released by Saudi state media.

The latest raid comes amid spiralling regional tensions after Washington accused Iran of carrying out attacks that left two tankers ablaze in the Gulf of Oman, the second such incident in a month in the strategic sea lane. "The royal Saudi air defence force and air force successfully intercepted and destroyed five unmanned drone aircraft launched by Huthi militia towards Abha international airport and Khamis Mushait," the coalition statement said without reporting any casualties.

The airport was operating normally with no fights disrupted, the statement added. Huthi-run Al-Masirah TV reported earlier that the Iran-aligned rebels had carried out drone attacks on Abha Airport. Wednesday’s missile strike hit the civil airport in the mountain resort of Abha, which is a popular summer getaway for Saudis seeking escape from the searing heat of Riyadh or Jeddah. During a media tour of the airport on Thursday, Saudi authorities said they had closed a part of the arrival lounge after the missile tore a hole in the roof and disrupted flights for several hours.

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