Tim Lenderking will hold talks aimed at reaching a ceasefire in the six-year conflict in Yemen.
The Saudi-led military coalition battling the Houthi rebels in Yemen says it destroyed an explosive-laden drone headed towards the city of Khamis Mushait launched by the Yemeni rebels, according to Saudi state TV al-Ekhbariya.
Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree said in a tweet early on Sunday that an operation had targeted King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushait in southwestern Saudi Arabia with a drone that had recorded an accurate hit.
“This comes in response to the continued siege and aggression against our dear country,” Saree said.
تمكن سلاح الجو المسير بفضل الله فجر يومنا هذا الأحد من إستهداف قاعدة الملك خالد الجوية بخميس مشيط بطائرة نوع قاصف 2k محققا إصابة دقيقة .
يأتي هذا الإستهداف ردا على استمرار الحصار والعدوان على بلدنا العزيز.
— العميد يحيى سريع (@army21ye) May 29, 2021
The coalition earlier dismissed as “fabricated” video footage issued by the Houthi movement on Saturday purportedly showing an incursion by its fighters into a Saudi Arabian border area on the front lines.
Houthi-run Al Masirah television had cited a military source as saying more than 80 Saudi soldiers and Sudanese “mercenaries” were killed or injured, while tens were captured in the operation near al-Khoubah in the southern Saudi region of Jazan.
“Claims by the Houthi militia about executing a military operation on the Jazan border are media fabrications,” Saudi state television cited coalition spokesman Brigadier General Turki al-Malki as saying.
Malki said the Houthis’ “imaginary victories” aimed to cover up big military losses suffered by the group in Yemen’s Marib and al-Jawf regions.
The war, which in March entered its seventh year, has been in a military deadlock for years with the Iran-aligned Houthis holding most of northern Yemen.
The war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, for which Saudi Arabia has faced global condemnation. The coalition’s naval and air blockade has exacerbated the crisis.
The Houthis have kept up cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and an offensive on Yemen’s gas-rich Marib after Riyadh in March proposed a nationwide ceasefire deal that includes reopening air and sea links to Houthi-held areas.
Meanwhile, the United Nations and the United States are pressing for a ceasefire needed to end the conflict, widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
US President Joe Biden in February ended US support for Saudi Arabia-led military offensive operations, including relevant arms sales, but said it would support Saudi Arabia’s defence of its sovereignty in the wake of missile and drone attacks.
Some of the video footage on Al Masirah’s Telegram account, the authenticity of which could not be independently verified by Reuters news agency, showed men in military uniform coming under fire as they fled down a rocky mountain slope.
Sudanese troops have been deployed as part of the Saudi-led military alliance that intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Houthis overthrew the internationally recognised government from the capital Sanaa.