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Saudi forces intercept Yemeni rebel drones targeting cities

July 16, 2019

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s air force intercepted and destroyed three Yemeni rebel drones before they could reach targets in the southern Saudi cities of Jizan and Abha, a military spokesman said Tuesday.

Col. Tukri al-Maliki was quoted in the state-run Saudi Press Agency saying the drones were launched by the Iran-backed rebel Houthis from the northern Yemeni governorate of Amran. Bomb-laden drones launched by Houthis killed a civilian and wounded others at a Saudi airport in Abha in recent weeks.

A Saudi-led coalition allied with Yemen’s government has been at war with the Houthis since 2015. The fighting has killed tens of thousands of people.

A Yemeni human rights group released a report Tuesday detailing how civilians have suffered greatly in the war.

In the report released in Paris, Mwatana for Human Rights said humanitarian aid had been blocked at a time of impending famine and civilians can no longer move around the country freely or leave. The group documented 74 cases of obstructing aid or access, largely blaming the Houthis.

The group said Saudi coalition airstrikes have targeted schools and hospitals while Houthi forces and coalition proxy forces have tortured and arbitrarily detained dozens.

It said it documented around 150 Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in 11 governorates in 2018 that killed at least 375 civilians, including 165 children, and wounded 427 others, including 172 children.

The report was based on more than 2,000 interviews with Yemenis. The group documented 52 cases of land mines wounding civilians and 150 coalition airstrikes, together killing at least 435 people.

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