RIYADH

Coalition forces destroyed four drones and five ballistic missiles launched towards Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, a spokesperson said on Thursday.

“The Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces managed late Wednesday and early Thursday to intercept and destroy four booby-trapped drones and five ballistic missiles launched by the Iran-backed terrorist Houthi militia,” Col. Turki al-Maliki said in a statement run by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The attacks targeted the Jizan region in southwestern Saudi Arabia, according to the official.

Earlier on Thursday, a Houthi spokesperson, Yahya Saree, said the group targeted a Saudi Aramco installation and other locations with “seven Saer and Badr missiles” and caused a major fire in the oil facility.

“Stores and bases were also targeted by four Samad 3 drones and 2K bombers and the hit was accurate,” he said.

He said the attack was “in response to the escalating aggression and the continued siege of our country.”

On Monday, the Houthis said 15 drones and two missiles had targeted sites in Saudi Arabia, including Saudi Aramco refineries.

UAE condemns attacks

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) condemned the Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and called for an immediate stop to the aggression.

It called on international community to take “an immediate and decisive stance to stop these repeated actions targeting vital and civilian installations, the kingdom’s security, energy supplies, and global economic stability.”

Yemen has been ravaged by violence and instability since 2014, when Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including Sana’a.

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

It has since caused one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with some 30 million people – 80% of the population – in need of assistance and protection, according to estimates.

According to the UN, the conflict in Yemen has so far claimed the lives of at least 233,000 people.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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