The fighting in Yemen's southern port city had seen the Saudi-backed government forces battle against the UAE-trained Security Belt Force, both of which have been fighting Houthi rebels who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014.
The Sanaa airport's three-year closure has amounted to a "death sentence" for many sick Yemenis, say the Norwegian Refugee Council and CARE.
"It's very much to do with moving from what I would call a military-first strategy to a peace-first strategy," according to one UAE official. Diplomats said Abu Dhabi preferred to have its forces on hand should US-Iran tensions escalate further.
The drone attack targeted Abha regional airport, which has repeatedly been hit by the Yemeni rebel group in recent weeks.
The drone was aimed at a populated area in Khamis Mushait, which houses a major airbase used as a launchpad for the coalition's bombing campaign in Yemen, says a coalition spokesman.
Saudi special forces in cooperation with their Yemeni counterparts "conducted a successful operation that resulted in the capture of the leader of the Daesh branch in Yemen," says coalition spokesman Turki al Maliki.
Saudi Arabia says its military intercepted five drones which it claims were launched by the Houthi rebels to target the kingdom.
The Saudi-led coalition, which has been fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen, said it will respond firmly to the projectile attack targeting an airport in the kingdom's south-west.
US National Security Advisor John Bolton arrived in UAE to discuss "regional security matters" amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran.
UNICEF said that militias allied with the Saudi-led coalition fired at Houthi-held positions in the hills surrounding the Yemeni city of Taiz, killing at least seven children.
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.
Iran is likely to use the Houthis to give Saudi Arabia and by extension the US, a bloody nose - ruining any chance for peace in the process.
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