Saudi-led Coalition Intercepts Houthi Drone, Says State TV

According to Reuters, Saudi Arabian air defenses intercepted and destroyed an armed drone launched by Ansar Allah, more commonly known as the Houthi rebel group in Yemen

State television cited the Saudi-led military coalition Monday, June 14, stating the drone was headed toward the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait. 

According to Reuters, this is the second Houthi sent armed drone this month. The first drone was rigged with explosives that fell on a school in the Saudi Arabia Aseer province but no injuries were reported. The Saudi Arab-led coalition said that these drones are targeting civilians and civilian objects. 

According to Reuters, the Houthis have launched attacks on Saudi cities across the border through missiles and drones in the war

This conflict between the rebel Houthi group and the Saudi Arabia-led coalition has lasted for six years, leaving tens of thousands killed, millions displaced and two-thirds of Yemen’s 30 million people dependent on aid, according to Al Jazeera. Actors involved in the conflict have taken actions detrimental to civilians. 

According to UNICEF, Saudi Arabia has used tactics like blockades to stop essential items from reaching civilians in Yemen, causing mass starvation for more than 12 million children. The Human Rights Watch said Houthi forces attack civilians in the Hadi government-controlled areas using weapons of destruction like antipersonnel landmines and child soldiers to kill and wound civilians. 

The Yemen Data Project states that since 2015, more than 175,000 civilians were killed and injured due to the conflict. A quarter of these civilians killed by air raids were women and children. More than 20 million people are experiencing food insecurity with half of them at risk of famine. 

“The Arab Parliament condemned the Houthi terrorist militia’s attempt to target the city of Khamis Mushait, Saudi Arabia, today with a bomb-laden UAV,” according to the Saudi Press Agency

The Organization for World Peace states possible peaceful solutions to peacefully resolve this conflict like end military funding for both the Saudi coalition and the Houthi rebel groups, as well as a partition. Many countries of the international community have a prominent role in this conflict as funders of militaries and humanitarian aid for both Saudi Arabia and Houthi forces, according to the Organization for World Peace. 

The Houthis rebel group began in the 1990s as a theological group pushing for peace, according to Ahmed Addhghashi, professor at Sana’a University. An internal struggle divided the Houthi group with one pushing for openness and the other wanting to stick to the tradition of the Shia sect, according to Addghashi. Tensions between Yemeni security forces and Houthis began when Houthi members protested in mosques in the capital. 

In April, United Nations officials urged the Security Council for greater international funding with the combined impact of the second wave of COVID-19 in Yemen and as Houthi rebels pursue the oil-rich Marib region. 

The UN also pushed for increased humanitarian action and a nationwide ceasefire. 

Al Jazeera reported a ceasefire was proposed by Saudi Arabia in March, after 17 people were killed in the city of Marib on June 5. 

“Six years on, there is no sense as to when the conflict might end,” Martin Griffiths, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen said to the United Nations Security Council on the crisis. “However, there is a fair plan on the table, frequently discussed by the parties, that favors humanitarian action and a nationwide ceasefire which would pave the way for a political solution.” 

Jadenne Radoc Cabahug
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