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Yemen war: Saudi coalition says it destroyed Houthi drone targeting Najran airport

Debris from destroyed drone was scattered in Saudi residential area but no injuries were reported, state TV reports
A fighter loyal to Yemen's Houthi group walks past a banner showing the faces of victims and commemorating anniversary of a Saudi-led coalition strike on a funeral hall building in Sanaa on 9 October (AFP/File photo)

Saudi air defences destroyed a drone targeting Najran airport in the south of Saudi Arabia, state media reported. 

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen said the drone was launched from Sanaa airport on Sunday. 

Debris from the destroyed drone was scattered in a residential area but no injuries were reported, Saudi state TV said.

Yemen's Houthis say they attacked Saudi cities, Aramco facilities
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The attempted attack comes one day after Yemen's Houthi movement launched 14 drone attacks at several Saudi cities, including at Saudi Aramco facilities in Jeddah. 

The coalition said it launched 13 reprisal attacks against the Houthi movement in Yemen later on Saturday. The operation hit weapons depots, air defence systems and drone communication systems in Sanaa, Saada, and Marib provinces, the coalition said.

On Friday, Saudi-led coalition also destroyed three drones launched towards southern Saudi Arabia and a fourth over Yemen. 

Cross-border attacks

The Houthis have repeatedly launched cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia using drones and missiles since the coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the movement removed the Saudi-backed government from the capital, Sanaa.

Efforts led by the United Nations and the United States to engineer a ceasefire in Yemen have stalled.

Yemen: Houthis close to Marib city after tribe switches sides
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The Houthis are pressing an offensive in Marib, the government's last northern stronghold, as well as in other areas in Yemen, including the Red Sea port of Hodeidah

The loss of Marib would be a major blow for the government and would strengthen the rebels' position in future peace negotiations, according to experts.

Since 11 October, the coalition has reported almost daily strikes around Marib and said in a statement on Thursday that it had killed 27,000 Houthis fighters since last year.

In a rare admission, sources close to the Houthis said Thursday that nearly 14,700 of their fighters have been killed since mid-June in air strikes and battles near Marib.