Saudi Arabia intercepts two Yemen rebel drones: Coalition

RIYADH (AFP) – Two Yemeni rebel drones targetting southern Saudi Arabia were intercepted on Saturday, a Riyadh-led military coalition said, the latest in a series of assaults on the kingdom.

The first drone targetted the province of Jizan and the second was aimed at a residential area in Asir province, the coalition said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The coalition did not report any damage or casualties.

The rebels earlier claimed drone attacks on the airports in Jizan and Abha, the capital of Asir, according to the group’s Al-Masirah TV.

The Huthi rebels, who have faced persistent coalition bombing since March 2015 which has exacted a heavy civilian death toll, have stepped up missile and drone attacks across the border in recent weeks.

On June 12, a rebel missile attack on Abha airport wounded 26 civilians, drawing promises of “stern action” from the coalition.

And on June 23, another rebel attack on Abha airport killed a Syrian national and wounded 21 other civilians, according to the coalition.

The raids come amid heightened regional tensions after Washington – a key ally of Riyadh – accused Iran of shooting down a United States (US) drone over international waters and of carrying out attacks on oil tankers in the strategic Gulf of Oman.