SUN 26 - 5 - 2019
Date: May 3, 2019
Source: The Daily Star
Arab coalition hits Yemen rebel drone site: spokesperson
Agence France Presse
RIYADH: The Arab coalition fighting in Yemen raided a drone facility used by Houthi rebels at an airbase in the capital Sanaa, a spokesperson said.

The coalition has ramped up attacks on such sites after the Iran-backed rebels warned last month they could launch attacks against the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The latest raid late Wednesday targeted "drone maintenance sites, a communications system and locations of drone experts and operators" at the Al-Dulaimi base adjoining the airport in rebel-held Sanaa, the official Saudi Press Agency quoted coalition spokesperson Col. Turki al-Maliki as saying.

The Houthi-controlled Saba news agency said 13 airstrikes targeted the base and airport.

The coalition last month said it targeted a cave in Sanaa used by Houthi rebels to stockpile drones.

The raid came after the coalition reported last month that Saudi air defenses had intercepted two drones launched by Houthi rebels that targeted Khamis Mushait, home to a major airbase in the southwest of the kingdom.

And in January the Houthis launched a drone attack on Yemen's largest airbase, Al-Anad, north of the southern port of Aden, during a military parade.

Eleven people were wounded in the attack, including Yemen's deputy chief of staff Maj. Gen. Saleh al-Zandani who later died of his injuries.

Seven other loyalists – including a high-ranking intelligence official – were killed in the attack.

Yemen is mired in a grinding conflict between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and a government backed up by an Arab coalition.

The coalition launched its first raids on rebel strongholds in March 2015 in a bid to bolster President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi, who now lives in Riyadh.

Since then the conflict has killed some 10,000 people, according to the World Health Organization, although human rights groups say the toll could be five times higher.

The unrest has also pushed the country to the brink of famine.

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