The Yemeni rebels' had targeted a Patriot air defence system in the airport of the Saudi city of Najran near the Yemeni border on May 23, Al Masirah TV reported.

File Photo: Saudi soldiers fire artillery towards the border with Yemen in Najran, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, April 21, 2015.
File Photo: Saudi soldiers fire artillery towards the border with Yemen in Najran, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (Hasan Jamali / AP)

Saudi Arabia on May 23 shot down a bomb-laden drone deployed by rebels in neighbouring Yemen to attack an airport in the kingdom, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting on the side of Yemen's internationally recognised government said.

"An explosive-laden drone sent by the terrorist Houthi militia to target Najran airport" was intercepted and destroyed by the Saudi air force, coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al Maliki was quoted by state media as saying.

The Yemeni rebels' had targeted a Patriot air defence system in the airport of the Saudi city of Najran near the Yemeni border, Al Masirah TV reported.

This is the third Houthi strike or attempts to strike Najran in a week, according to Saudi and Houthi reports.

Maliki said "the rebels attacked a civilian airport" and warned of a "response".

An armed drone sent on Tuesday had hit a weapons depot at the same airport, setting off a blaze, according to Al Masirah.

Maliki said on Tuesday that the rebels attacked a "civilian installation" in Najran province bordering Yemen with an explosives-laden drone, but did not report casualties.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to push back an advance by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who continue to hold the capital Sanaa, and to restore to power President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Since then, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say.

It has triggered what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 24.1 million – more than two-thirds of the population – in need of aid.

Source: AFP