A third Bahraini serviceman died today following an alleged drone strike carried out by Yemen’s Houthi-aligned armed forces on Monday against forces of the Saudi-led coalition in Saudi Arabia near the border with Yemen, Bahrain’s state news agency said.
The news comes a day after the Bahraini military said in a statement that an officer and a soldier were killed on the Saudi-Yemen border on Monday. The pair “were martyred while performing their sacred national duty to defend the southern borders of the sister Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, the statement said.
Bahrain is part of the Saudi-led coalition that militarily intervened in Yemen in 2015 in order to reinstate the internationally-recognised government after the Houthis gained control of much of northern Yemen, including the capital Sanaa a year earlier.
The Houthi movement has not confirmed the incident nor taken responsibility for it, however, spokesperson Mohammed Abdulsalam told Reuters that violations of the truce, which has largely held since officially expiring last October, were “regrettable”.
The drone attack represents a major escalation after more than a year of relative calm in Yemen as peace efforts gain momentum. It could jeopardise talks between Saudi and Houthi officials who have just held another round of negotiations on a potential agreement towards ending the conflict.