World News

Saudi-led coalition says it downs armed drone, two missiles launched towards kingdom

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi movement in Yemen said it intercepted and downed an armed drone and two ballistic missiles launched towards a southern part of Saudi Arabia on Thursday, in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

Cross-border attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi forces have escalated since late May when a truce prompted by the coronavirus pandemic expired. In late June, missiles reached the Saudi capital Riyadh. The coalition has retaliated with air strikes.

The coalition statement said it intercepted an armed drone on Thursday morning and two ballistic missiles on Thursday evening. Both had been launched towards the Khamis Mushait area of southern Saudi Arabia near the Yemeni border.

Al Masirah TV, run by the Iran-aligned Houthis, said on Thursday the Saudi-led coalition had carried out 36 air strikes during the past 24 hours on Houthi-held territories.

Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 to restore the Yemeni government ousted from power in the capital Sanaa by Houthi forces. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.

Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Chris Reese and David Evans