SANAA, Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Saturday that it had intercepted a drone fired by Houthi rebels towards Saudi Arabia.

“Coalition forces intercepted and destroyed an unmanned explosive-laden drone fired by the Houthi militia towards Khamis Mushait city [in southern Saudi Arabia],” the coalition said in a statement.

It accused the Houthi rebels of “systematically and deliberately targeting civilians and civilian areas” in the kingdom.

There was no comment from the Houthi group on the coalition’s statement.

The rebel movement, however, regularly announces rocket and drone attacks on Saudi territories, saying they are a reaction to the Saudi-led coalition’s assault on Yemen.

On Friday, Houthi rebels said they had fired six drones on an oil refinery in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Saudi authorities said the attack caused a fire that was brought under control.

Yemen has been wracked by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises with nearly 80% or about 30 million of its people needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starving to death.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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