Saudi-led coalition strikes target Yemeni capital after drone attack

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen said, in a statement, that the coalition on Monday destroyed a communications system used in drone attacks and is located near the Ministry of Communications in Sanaa.

Riyadh intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 to support the government against the Houthi rebels who control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

“We have destroyed a communications system used to operate control stations for drones,” the official Saudi Press Agency quoted the coalition as saying.

She added that “the Houthis use the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Sana’a in hostile operations.”

An AFP correspondent in Sanaa confirmed that the coalition air strikes targeted several areas in the capital, around the ministry.

It was not immediately possible to determine whether there were any injuries.

This was the first time that the coalition had targeted a civilian ministry, having so far only attacked the Ministry of Defense.

The coalition said the raids came in response to a drone attack on Thursday on a Saudi airport near the border that left 12 people injured by falling debris after the Saudi army detonated the “bomb-laden” projectile.

The coalition warned that it would strike sites from which the Houthis would launch drones in Sanaa and asked civilians to leave civilian areas used for military purposes.

“The Houthis are using state ministries to launch hostile operations,” the coalition said.

The Houthis in Yemen have frequently launched drone attacks on targets in the kingdom, including airports and oil installations.

The conflict witnessed an escalation in recent months as the coalition intensified its attacks against the Houthis.

For their part, the rebels have also increased their attacks on Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner, the United Arab Emirates.

Yemen’s civil war erupted in 2014 when the Houthis seized Sanaa, prompting the Saudi-led coalition to intervene the following year in support of the internationally recognized government.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed directly or indirectly in the conflict, while millions have been displaced in what the United Nations calls the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.


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