Saudi defenses intercept Houthi drone aimed at Jizan

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Saudi Arabia’s defense forces intercepted a drone launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia towards the southern city of Jizan, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported early on Thursday morning.

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Shrapnel from the destroyed drone fell onto civilian areas, but did not cause damage, SPA said.

The drone was reportedly launched from the Hodeidah Governate. The Saudi authorities have previously accused the Houthis of launching attacks from a civilian port in the area.

The attempted attack followed the conclusion of the inaugural World Defense Show on the outskirts of Riyadh.

At the exhibition, the Saudi government signed contracts worth $1.8 billion with Chinese, South Korean, and local defense companies.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan includes a provision to localize 50 percent of defense spending by the start of the next decade.

The state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) announced on Sunday that it planned to build a Saudi-made drone, al-Ekhbariya reported.

Drone and missile attacks by the Houthis have become a common occurrence in the years-long conflict in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been regularly targeted since it intervened in its southern neighbor’s civil war in 2015, after fighting broke out the previous year.

In January, the Houthis also launched unprecedented attacks on the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the Arab Coalition fighting the militia.

The drone attacks targeted oil facilities and Abu Dhabi’s airport, killing three expatriate workers and injuring several more.

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