This combination of pictures provided by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Media on February 10 shows wreckage of a drone launched by the Houthis in Yemen toward the Abha international airport. Click to see full-size image
The Saudi-led coalition reportedly intercepted a loitering munition UAV allegedly launched by Yemen’s Houthis.
The drone launched by the Houthi rebels was heading toward the city of Khamis Mushait in southwest Saudi Arabia, the coalition’s spokesperson General Turki al-Maliki said.
“Joint Coalition Forces have intercepted and destroyed this morning (Friday) a bomb-laden UAV launched systematically and deliberately by the terrorist Houthi militia to target civilians and civilian objects in (Khamis Mushait),” al-Maliki said, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
“These acts of aggression to deliberately and systematically target civilians and civilian objects by the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia amount to war crimes.”
The Saudi-led Coalition said it would continue to take the necessary measures to protect civilians in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in accordance with international humanitarian law.
This is, of course, entirely empty rhetoric, since Saudi Arabian airstrikes are the main reason why civilians die in Yemen, as well as the blockade on al-Hudaydah and the frequent ceasefire violations.
Still, when the Houthis’ offensive on Marib Dam and Marib city began around February 20th, the UN and others immediately began condemning the attacks and saying that the escalation needs to immediately end.
Al Arabiya even reported that the latest Houthi offensive in Yemen’s city of Marib is a battle against the United States and its allies, the group’s top military official Abdullah al-Sharifi told the militia’s al-Masirah TV.
“The fight now is not with our brothers, but it is between us and infidelity, America and its allies,” he said.
The UN’s envoy to Yemen last week condemned the group’s offensive in Marib and called for negotiations.
“The conflict in Yemen has taken a sharp escalatory turn with [the Houthis’] most recent offensive in Marib governorate. I have condemned this many times since early last year when this offensive operation started, and I will repeat my call now: the attack on Marib must stop. It puts millions of civilians at risk,” Martin Griffiths told the UN Security Council.
The Houthis evidently have better capabilities, after Iran delivered loitering munitions. Not that they didn’t have the upper hand prior to that, anyway.
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