SANAA 

The Saudi-led Arab coalition on Tuesday announced shooting down eight “booby-trapped” drones and four ballistic missiles launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels towards Saudi Arabia.

The Houthi group “launched on Monday evening eight booby-trapped drones to target civilian objects and civilians in the Kingdom,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported, citing coalition spokesman, Turki al-Maliki.

He said coalition forces were able to intercept and destroy the drones.

The spokesman pointed out that “the Houthi militia launched three ballistic missiles on Tuesday morning from the Yemeni province of Saada”.

Al-Maliki said two ballistic missiles fired towards the city of Najran and another ballistic missile towards Jizan city were all shot down.

The spokesman said the Houthi attacks “constitute a flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and its customary rules, and violate the heavenly and human norms and values”.

In another statement, al-Maliki said another Houthi ballistic missile launched from Sanaa towards the Saudi capital, Riyadh, was intercepted.

For his part, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarie tweeted on Tuesday that the group targeted the headquarters of the Defense Ministry and the intelligence service in Riyadh as well as other military buildings.

The spokesman vowed to carry out more attacks inside the Saudi territory until Riyadh lifts what he described as a “siege” on Yemen.

The rebel spokesman said the attacks came as part of what he termed as the “largest offensive operation in response to the unjust siege and aggression” on Yemen.

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

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

Tens of thousands of Yemenis, including civilians, are believed to have been killed in the conflict, which has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis as millions remain at risk of starvation.

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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