January 13, 2019 / 12:26 PM / 10 days ago

Yemen's Houthis threaten more drone attacks

SANAA (Reuters) - The Iranian-aligned Houthi group threatened on Sunday to launch more drone attacks after a deadly strike last week on a Yemeni government military parade, stoking tension between the warring parties amid U.N. peace efforts.

Houthi spokesman Yahya Sarea said Thursday’s drone strike on a military base in Lahaj province, which killed several people, was a “legitimate operation against aggression”. He said the movement was building a stockpile locally manufactured drones.

“Soon there will be enough in the strategic stockpile to launch more than one drone operation in multiple battle fronts at the same time,” Sarea told reporters in the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.

The attack on the military parade came as the United Nations tries to get peace talks going between the Houthis, who control most urban centres in Yemen, and the Saudi-backed government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is based in the southern port city of Aden.

The day after, a Saudi-led military coalition said it destroyed a Houthi communication and control centre used to direct drones.

The Houthis said in November they were halting drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their Yemeni allies, but tensions have risen over how to implement a U.N.-sponsored peace deal reached in December in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are leading the Western-backed Sunni Muslim Arab coalition that intervened in Yemen’s war after the Houthis ousted Hadi’s government from Sanaa in 2014.

The Gulf states accuse Iran of supplying arms to the Houthis, a charge Tehran and the group deny. The Houthis say they are waging a revolution against corruption.

Reporting by Reuters TV in Sanaa; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky

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