January 31, 2019 / 8:34 PM / 15 days ago

Saudi-led coalition attacks drone storage site east of Sanaa

CAIRO (Reuters) - The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has attacked a site east of the capital Sanaa which the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement used to store drones, Saudi news agency SPA said on Thursday.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki was quoted as saying the bombardment was part of a two-week-old operation to destroy the Houthis’ drone capabilities following a deadly drone attack on a Yemeni government military parade.

A senior official of the United Arab Emirates said on Wednesday the coalition, which also includes the UAE, was prepared to use “calibrated force” to push the Houthis to withdraw from Hodeidah port city under a U.N.-sponsored deal.

Yemen’s civil war pits the Houthis against the Saudi-backed government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which was ousted from power in late 2014. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of Yemenis and left millions on the brink of starvation.

The United Nations is trying to implement a ceasefire and troop withdrawal agreement in Hodeidah, the main entry point for most of Yemen’s imports and aid.

The truce has largely held in the city, which is controlled by the Houthis with thousands of coalition-backed forces massed on the outskirts. In other areas of Yemen, the poorest Arabian Peninsula nation, fighting has escalated, including in Sanaa.

Reporting by Hesham Hajali and Ahmed Tolba, writing by Stephen Kaln; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Sonya Hepinstall

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