Yemen’s Houthi rebels say down ‘spy drone’ of Saudi-led coalition amid truce

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Sanaa, May 22 (IANS) Yemen’s Houthi rebels have said they shot down a “spy drone” of the Saudi-led coalition that supports the Yemeni government in the country’s civil war, accusing the coalition of violating the ongoing truce.

“With a surface-to-air missile, our air defence shot down the drone that was hovering over Hayran district in the province of Hajjah in violation of the truce,” Houthi-run al-Masirah TV quoted the the rebels’ military spokesman Yehya Sarea as saying on Saturday.

There was no comment yet from the coalition or the Yemeni government, Xinhua news agency reported.

This was the second “spy drone” the Houthi group claimed to have downed in Hajjah in nearly two weeks amid the two-month truce starting from April 2.

So far, the truce has been largely held despite sporadic small-scale clashes.

On Thursday, the Houthi rebels said they are considering a request by the UN envoy to extend the ongoing truce with the Yemeni government, which expires on June 2.

The truce marks the first breakthrough in more than seven years in efforts to end the war in Yemen that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.