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Saudi air defences intercept, destroy drone launched at airport



Saudi air defences intercepted and destroyed an explosives-laden drone targeting Abha International Airport in the southwestern part of the kingdom, the state news agency said on Saturday, citing the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen.

The coalition, which intervened in Yemen in March 2015, has often retaliated against cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia with air strikes in Yemen.

It was reported earlier that Saudi Arabia is seeking Washington’s help in bolstering its defences as it comes under intense US pressure to end a blockade of Yemeni ports that its Houthi enemies say is an obstacle to ceasefire talks, two sources with knowledge of efforts to end the Yemen war and a US official said.

Also read: Explosion near Yemen’s Aden airport causes casualties

A Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after Houthi forces ousted the internationally recognised government from the capital, Sanaa.

Efforts to end a war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine have stalled, with the Houthis saying the coalition must stop blocking ports and Sanaa airport before ceasefire talks can start.

The United States, Saudi Arabia’s main security ally, has been pressing the coalition to fully open access to the Houthi-held ports and the airport, and also pushed the Houthis to end offensives and engage in diplomacy.

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