People inspect the wreckage of a drone aircraft
People inspect the wreckage of a drone aircraft that Houthis say they shot down near the northwestern city of Saada, Yemen April 19, 2019. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: Aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen on Saturday attacked a camp containing drones near Yemen’s presidential palace in the Al Houthi-controlled capital, Saudi state TV reported.

The Saudi-led coalition backs the government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, which was ousted from power in Sana’a by Al Houthis in late 2014.

“The coalition staged a selective military operation to destroy a legal military target” a statement by the coalition issued later by the state-run Saudi News Agency (SPA) said on Saturday. It also said the air raids targeted a cave used by Al Houthis to store drones in a camp in the vicinity of the presidential complex, which is now controlled by the militia.

Coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki Al Maliki said the strikes were an extension of military operations against an integrated network of logistical capabilities and facilities for Al Houthi drones, as well as locations where foreign experts are present.

He reiterated the coalition’s commitment to preventing Al Houthi militia from using these advanced capabilities, and to take all the necessary measures to protect civilians as well as vital areas from the threat of drones.

Yemen’s war has killed tens of thousands of people and driven 10 million to the brink of famine. The Arabian Peninsula country is also suffering its third major outbreak of cholera since the conflict began.

In December, both sides reached a deal at UN-led peace talks for a ceasefire and troop withdrawal from the Red Sea port of Hodeida, Yemen’s lifeline for fuel and food.

The truce has largely held but the withdrawal has stalled due to mistrust among the parties, calling into question the UN goal of further talks to agree a framework for political negotiations to end the war.