Saudi-led coalition forces intercepted a drone launched toward the kingdom from Yemen by Houthi rebels, a spokesman for the coalition said late Wednesday.
Colonel Turki al-Maliki said the coalition forces managed to intercept and shoot down the unmanned drone in Yemeni airspace, the Saudi SPA news agency reported.
The drone was launched from the northern city of Saada.
Stressing that all attempts by the Houthi militia to launch drones are doomed to fail, Al-Maliki said the coalition will take all operational measures and best practices of engagement rules to deal with these drones to protect civilians.
Later, he said an enemy projectile fell on Abha International Airport in southern Saudi Arabia, through which thousands of civilian passengers of various nationalities pass daily. He said the incident was being investigated by the authorities.
The Houthis announced that they attacked the airport with a cruise missile.
Al-Maliki stressed that Houthi rebels target civilians which are protected under international humanitarian law and its customary rules.
Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi group overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains and supporting the country’s pro-Saudi government.
More than 70,000 people have been killed in the conflict since 2016, according to UN estimates.
By Gozde Bayar