The Saudi-led military coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi rebels says it has destroyed a telecommunication system used to control drones in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, according to the official Saudi news agency SPA.
The bombing on Monday targeted a ground station for satellites in the vicinity of the telecommunication ministry in northern Sanaa, residents told news agencies. It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.
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“The Houthis are using the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Technology in Sanaa for hostile operations,” the coalition was quoted as saying by SPA.
Later on Monday, Houthi-run television Al Masirah reported a coalition attack targeting the telecommunication ministry, destroying the TeleYemen telecoms company building and damaging a neighbouring building.
The coalition said the raids were in response to a drone attack on Thursday on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport near the border which left 12 injured by falling debris after Saudi air defences blew up the “bomb-laden” projectile.
The coalition had warned it would strike positions from which the Houthis launch drones in Sanaa and asked civilians to leave civilian areas used for military purposes.
Yemen’s war broke out in 2014 when the Houthis seized Sanaa, prompting the Saudi-led coalition to intervene the following year to prop up the internationally recognised government.
The Houthis have fired drones and missiles into Saudi Arabia – including at airports and oil installations – during the conflict, and recently targeted Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, also a coalition member.
The Saudi-led coalition has retaliated by intensifying air raids on Houthi-held parts of northern Yemen.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed directly or indirectly in the seven-year conflict, while millions have been displaced in what the United Nations calls the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.