SANA’A, Yemen 

Yemen’s Houthi group said Tuesday that it targeted Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport in a drone attack.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition denied the claim, saying its forces destroyed the Houthi drone before it could cause any damage.

“The UAV air force managed to target the airfields of the warplanes in Abha International Airport by a Qasef-2K drone that hit its target precisely,” said Yahya Sarei, a Houthi military spokesperson.

He said the attack was in retaliation to coalition airstrikes and the “continued blockade on our country.”

The Saudi Press Agency, however, ran a statement from an official refuting the claim of an attack on Abha airport.

Col. Turki al-Maliki, a spokesperson for the Arab coalition, said forces managed to “intercept and destroy a booby-trapped drone fired by the Houthi militia towards the southern area of the Kingdom.”

He said the coalition is following “operating procedures to protect the civilians and civilian areas in accordance with the International Humanitarian Law.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Saudi authorities said five people were injured when the Houthis fired a projectile targeting the southern Jazan area.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sana’a.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

According to UN estimates, the conflict in Yemen has so far claimed the lives of at least 233,000 people, with millions more facing starvation and in need of humanitarian assistance. 

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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