Time: June 21, 2019
- Attack is the latest in a salvo of missiles and drones targeting civilian sites in the Kingdom
- US has expressed increasing concern at the Iran-backed militia’s behavior
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces shot down a “hostile drone” launched by the Houthi militia in Yemen towards Jazan on Thursday.
The drone was intercepted and destroyed at 9.06 p.m., Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said. He added that the Iran-backed Houthis are constantly trying to hit civilian targets.
The attempted attack comes as the Houthis have ramped up efforts to hit inside the Kingdom since they struck Abha airport last week, wounding 26 people.
Earlier, the coalition said the Houthis targeted a desalination plant in the south-western Saudi province of Jazan. The projectile struck near the plant in the Al-Shuqaiq area late Wednesday. There were no casualties or damage.
The coalition will take “firm measures, urgent and timely, to deter this terrorist militia”, Maliki said.
The White House said Thursday that President Donald Trump had been briefed about reports of the strike.
Human Rights Watch denounced last week’s strike on the airport as an apparent “war crime”, urging the Houthis to immediately stop all attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis have fired scores of missiles at Saudi Arabia since the Arab coalition joined the conflict in 2015 – months after the Houthis overthrew the internationally recognized government from the capital Sanaa.
The Houthis rely on Iranian support and weapons and their targeting of Saudi Arabia has added to growing international anger and concern over Iran’s actions in the region.