Saudi-led coalition destroys five Houthi drones, Saudi TV channels

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The Saudi-led coalition engaged in Yemen said it destroyed five armed drones launched by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement, Al Ekhbariyah and Al Arabiya channels reported on Sunday (March 7).

The coalition detected several drones fired by the group, the television channels reported, without giving a total figure or specifying in which direction they had been launched.

The movement, which has been battling the military coalition since it intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015, recently stepped up cross- missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities, mostly in the south of the kingdom.

The coalition had said early on Saturday that it intercepted seven Houthi drones launched towards Khamis Mushait and one fired towards Jazan, both in the south, in the past 24 hours.

The United States and the United Nations have stepped up diplomatic efforts to end the conflict, which is largely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The Houthis, who ousted the internationally recognised government from in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014 and now control most of the north, deny being puppets of Teheran and say they are a corrupt system and foreign aggression.

Fighting has also intensified on the ground in Yemen in Marib and Taiz regions. The war, in a military stalemate for years, has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Friday that the Al-Thawra hospital in Taiz had treated 28 people wounded in intense clashes since last Wednesday and that the hospital itself was hit by gun fire, injuring three, including a 12-year-old boy.

In Marib, the government’s last northern stronghold, hundreds of fighters from both sides have been killed.

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