Yemen’s Rebels Claim Drone Air Attack on Saudi King Khalid Air Base

SANAA: Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they launched a drone air attack on a royal Saudi air force base in the Saudi southern border province on Saturday, rebel-run Al-Masirah TV reported.

The attack targeted King Khalid air base in Khamis Mushait city in the southwest the kingdom, said the rebel channel, adding the attack was “in retaliation for the Friday’s Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on Sanaa International Airport in the (rebel-held) capital Sanaa.”

The rebels did not provide further details, while there was no comment yet from the Saudi government on the alleged attack.

On Friday, the coalition warplanes launched more than 30 airstrikes on the rebel military sites in and around Sanaa airport and adjoining al-Daylami air base, according to both the coalition and the rebels’ statements.

Hours later, the rebels fired a short-range ballistic missile on Boku military camp in the Saudi southern border province of Najran.

The fresh military escalation came ahead of a new UN-brokered round of peace talks proposed to be held within a month as Yemeni rival forces also clashed in the country’s western main port city of Hodeidah.

The Yemeni government forces backed by the coalition warplanes advanced into near the centre of Hodeidah city, recapturing the Hodeidah University and adjoining military air defence camp in the southern edge of the port city after fierce clashes overnight against the Houthis who are still controlling the city, the government-run Saba news website reported on Saturday.

The city’s port is the main entry point of the country’s 70 per cent of imports and aid.

Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after the Houthi rebels forced him into exile.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced 3 million others, according to UN aid agencies.

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