YEMEN (OBSERVATORY) – Yemen’s Shi’ite leader said on Friday his group would continue to develop its military capabilities as the group allied with Iran stepped up attacks against Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen.
Saudi air defenses on Wednesday intercepted three rockets fired by the Houthis on Riyadh and two other cities, the fourth in five months in which rockets were flying over the Saudi capital, state media reported. Saudi defenses also dropped two drone aircraft for Houthis in southern Saudi cities.
“Whenever the aggression continues in its war, our military capabilities will grow, develop and grow,” Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said in a speech broadcast on Al-Maseera channel run by the Houthis. He added that his movement had the right to manufacture and use drones.
The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 in an effort to deter the Houthis after they pushed the internationally recognized government to flee to Riyadh.
The United Nations says the three-year war has killed 10,000 people.
One of its Yemeni photographers, Abdullah al-Qadri, died of wounds sustained in what she said was a Houthi missile attack on Friday targeting a car carrying journalists in the province of al-Bayda and another reporter for a television station was wounded in the attack, the private television station Bilqis said.
The station said on its website: “Balqis channel described the martyrdom of its photographer in the province of Marib Abdullah al-Qadri in the missile bombardment of the Houthi militia on the area of Qanya in the province of white.”
Medical sources confirmed that the cameraman died of his wounds and said another journalist was in serious condition. It was unclear how many people were in the car.
The Houthis say their rocket attacks on the kingdom have responded to Western-backed coalition air strikes on Yemen.
The coalition has carried out thousands of air strikes in Yemen since 2015, killing hundreds of people.
The alliance accuses the Houthis of getting weapons and support from Iran, the crime of Riyadh in the region, a charge denied by the group and Tehran.
The Armaments Research Organization of Arms Control Disputes says it has evidence that unmanned drones were used on Wednesday and other equipment used by the Houthis were made in Iran and not localized in design or manufacturing.