DUBAI, June 30, (Agencies): Saudi Arabia says it intercepted two drones launched by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels targeting the Kingdom. The Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel late Saturday said the rebels targeted Saudi airports in Abha and Jizan with Qasef-2K drones. The Kingdom’s state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted military spokesman Col Turki al-Maliki as saying the country intercepted two drones launched by the Houthis, which caused no damage or casualties.
The Houthis have increasingly used drones to target southern Saudi Arabia, including two recent strikes on the Abha airport, which killed one person and wounded over 30. A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis since March 2015, with their airstrikes internationally criticized for killing civilians.
The drone attacks also come amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran. Meanwhile, three civilians were killed and one person was injured in an explosion that took place in Yemen’s northern province of Jawf on Saturday, the Ministry of Defense said. The ministry’s SeptemberNet website quoted a local source as saying an explosive device went off near a motorbike in Al-Masloub district in Jawf killing three civilians, including a child.
They added the explosion also injured another person. Drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in May originated in Iraq, not Yemen, US officials have concluded, drawing questions from Iraqi officials who have asked Washington for more information supporting the claim, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. US officials familiar with the intelligence on the May drone attacks say they originated in southern Iraq, the Journal reported, saying that most likely pointed a finger at Iranbacked militias in that region. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis, who have been battling a Saudiled military coalition for four years, said they carried out the drone strikes against the East- West pipeline.