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Saudi-led coalition says it intercepted Houthi armed drone attack

The incident comes days after President Biden announced ending of US support for Saudi-led operations in Yemen
Drone attack attributed to Houthis comes after US moved to delist the rebels as a terrorist group (AFP)

An armed drone launched towards Saudi Arabia by Yemen's Houthis was intercepted, state media said on Sunday, a day after the US moved to delist the rebels as a terrorist group.

The Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen "intercepted and destroyed an armed drone," spokesman Turki al-Maliki said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. 

"It was launched systematically and deliberately by the terrorist Houthi militia to target civilians and civilian objects in the south of the region."

US moves to revoke terror designation of Yemen's Houthis
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The incident was not immediately claimed by the Iran-backed Houthis. 

The US State Department on Friday said it had formally notified Congress of its intention to revoke a terrorist designation against the rebels, which had been announced at the end of the administration of former president Donald Trump.

The delisting move came a day after US President Joe Biden announced an end to US support for Saudi-led offensive operations in Yemen.

Humanitarian groups were deeply opposed to the designation, saying it jeopardised their operations in a country where the majority of people rely on aid, and that they have no choice but to deal with the Houthis, who control much of the north.

Saudi Arabia, which entered the Yemen conflict in 2015 to bolster the internationally recognised government, has repeatedly been targeted with cross-border attacks. The conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Last month, it said it had intercepted and destroyed a "hostile air target" heading towards the capital Riyadh.