عربي | كوردى



Yemen's Houthis step up drone attacks on Saudi Arabia

Yemen's Houthis step up drone attacks on Saudi Arabia

2019/05/21 | 17:20

(Hatha al-Youm | Iraq News)-

Yemen's Iran-aligned

Houthis have stepped up missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia this week in

a resurgence of tactics that had largely subsided since late last year amid

United Nations-led peace efforts.The latest hostilities

coincide with rising tensions between Iran and Gulf Arab states allied to the

United States and come just as a sensitive, UN-sponsored peace deal is being

carried out in Yemen's main port of Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions.The Houthis, who

claimed responsibility for last week's armed drone strikes on oil assets in

Saudi Arabia, said on Tuesday that one of their drones hit an arms depot at the

kingdom's Najran aiport near the Yemeni border, causing a fire.The Saudi-led military

coalition said a civilian facility in Najran province was targeted with an

explosive-laden drone.It said on Monday that

Saudi defence forces intercepted Houthi ballistic missiles fired towards Mecca,

Islam's holiest site. The Houthis denied doing so.On Sunday, the Houthis

said they would attack 300 vital military targets in Saudi Arabia, the United

Arab Emirates and Yemen.Saudi Arabia and the

UAE head a Western-backed coalition of Sunni Muslim states that intervened in

Yemen in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government

ousted from power in the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014.The movement has

during the war repeatedly targeted Saudi cities and vital installations -

mostly in border areas, but on several occasions the capital Riyadh as well.

The Houthis pledged last November to stop attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE

at the request of the United Nations.While attacks on Saudi

border areas continued, the Houthis had avoided targeting major cities or

infrastructure. There have been no reports of attacks on the capital since last

June.The coalition has in

return conducted multiple air strikes on the Houthi-held Yemeni capital Sanaa

which it says target military facilities and aim to neutralise the group's

ability to fire missiles and drones.Riyadh and Abu Dhabi

accuse Iran of arming the Houthis, a charge denied by the group and Tehran.FRAGILE REGIONAL

CEASEFIREIt was not yet clear

how the rising tension could impact a regional ceasefire and troop withdrawal

deal in Hodeidah - the first major diplomatic breakthrough in a conflict that

has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.The deal was stalled

for months before a unilateral Houthi withdrawal from Hodeidah and two other

Red Sea ports 10 days ago. That is meant to lead to a pullback by coalition

forces massed on the edges of Hodeidah, the main entry point for Yemen's

commercial and humanitarian aid imports.Saudi Arabia accused

Iran of ordering last week's drone strikes on two Aramco oil pumping stations,

which followed sabotage acts on Saudi oil tankers off the UAE coast. Iran

denied being behind the drone attacks.The UAE has yet to blame

anyone for the tanker operation, but two US government sources said last week

that US officials believed Iran encouraged the Houthis or Iraq-based Shi'ite

Muslim militias to carry it out. Iran distanced itself.Saudi Arabia will hold

an emergency Arab summit in Mecca on May 30 to discuss the implications of the

attacks, which came as the United States and Iran spar over US sanctions

reimposed on Tehran and over the US military presence in the Gulf.Yemen's conflict is

widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The

Houthis, who control the biggest urban centres in Yemen, deny being Iranian

puppets and say they are waging a revolution against corruption.The World Food

Programme said on Monday it was considering suspending aid deliveries in areas

under Houthi control due to fighting, insecurity and interference in its work.Some 9 million of the

12 million Yemenis whom the WFP is seeking to reach with rations each month

live in Houthi-held areas, WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel said, denouncing

diversions of aid supplies especially in areas in Houthi hands."All this needs

to stop. We are here to save 12 million people - many of them children and

women - to save them from famine," he told a briefing in Geneva.









TRENDING News



Latest News Today






Videos and Photos


TRENDING NOW