Saudi-Led Coalition Says Yemen's Houthis Attempted to Target Two Saudi Universities

As the Coalition's war in Yemen continues, with constant drone attacks from the opposition Houthi movement, earlier this week Riyadh offered a peace initiative to end their ongoing military actions by proposing a ceasefire supervised by United Nations officials, a resumption of negotiations, and a lifting of the Saudi blockade.

A military coalition in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia, said it prevented the attack of an explosives-laden drone that was fired by the Houthi movement that attempted to target Najran and Jazan's universities, the state TV reported on Thursday.

In addition, a single shell hit Jazan's petroleum products distribution terminal, causing a fire, official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on the same day. A spokesman at the Saudi Ministry of Energy slammed the attack, saying in threatens the global energy supplies and ecological safety.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also denounced the recent military escalation and the Houthi's attempts to attack universities.

According to the Saudi state TV, shortly before the last attack, opposition militants launched an armed drone towards southern city of Khamis Mushait. The military device was reportedly destroyed.

Earlier in the day, the coalition reported it destroyed another four armed drones.

Forces loyal to Yemen's Saudi-backed government enter the Abs district of the northwestern Hajjah province on March 11, 2021.

On Monday the kingdom of Saudi Arabia introduced a peace initiative to end the conflict in Yemen and restart talks. The plan includes a ceasefire under UN control along with removal of the blockade at Sanaa international airport, partial unblocking of Yemeni port of Hodeidah with equal income distribution between the government and Southern opposing authorities. The Houthi group criticized the plan, demanding total lifting of the blockades.

The proposal came shortly after the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a “new policy approach” towards Saudi Arabia, stressing US intention to end the war in Yemen. Saying that Washington would “remain committed to the defense of the kingdom,” he revealed that the US would stop supporting Saudi “offensive activities and operations in Yemen, including through the provision of offensive weapons.”

Hostilities have been continuing in Yemen since August 2014 between government forces under the president-in-exile, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and the Houthi opposition movement that controls northern Yemen. A coalition organized by Saudi Arabia has been fighting on the side of Hadi since March 2015. The Houthis regularly bombard Yemen's neighboring Saudi areas, in response to the pro-Saudi coalition's attack on northern Yemen and the blockade of the country's north.