One dead, seven hurt as ‘Iran-backed Yemeni forces’ unleash drone attack on Saudi airport
- Syrian resident died in suspected drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport
- Earlier today, Yemen’s Houthi movement said they had targeted Saudi airports
- Iran-aligned Houthis stepped up missile and drone attacks in recent months
One person was killed and seven people were injured in a suspected drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport by Yemeni rebels this evening.
The Saudi government confirmed the attacks on Twitter, saying the person who died from their wounds was a Syrian resident.
The spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition at war in Yemen against the rebel Houthis was quoted in the state-run Saudi Press Agency as saying the airport in Abha was struck shortly after 9pm local time.
Col. Turki al-Maliki did not say what type of weapon was used in the attack.
Earlier this month, a Houthi missile hit Abha civilian airport, which is about 125 miles north of the Yemen border and serves domestic and regional routes, in a strike that wounded 26 people.
One person was killed and seven people were injured in a suspected drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport (file photo)
Earlier today, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the UK and the U.S. voiced concerns about the escalation in Houthi attacks in a joint statement (pictured)
The Western-backed Sunni Muslim coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government that was ousted from power in Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014.
The Iran-aligned Houthis have stepped up missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities in the past month amid rising tension between Iran and Gulf Arab states allied to the United States.
Riyadh has accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with the weapon used in the June 13 attack on Abha airport. Tehran and the Houthis deny coalition charges that Iran supplies the Houthis with missiles and drones.
The Saudi-led military coalition has targeted Houthi military sites around the capital Sanaa and Hodeidah port city.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Britain and the United States, in a joint statement published by the Saudi Embassy in Washington on Sunday, voiced concern about the escalation in Houthi attacks – without any mention of the latest drone launches.
The quartet also voiced concern about ‘dangers posed by Iranian destabilising activity’ to peace and security both in Yemen and the broader region, citing attacks on oil tankers in Gulf waters.
The Saudi government confirmed the attacks on Twitter, saying the person who died from their wounds was a Syrian resident. Pictured: the airport after attacks earlier this month
Tehran has denied involvement in the tanker attacks, which no one has claimed responsibility for.
The escalation in violence threatens a U.N.-sponsored deal for a ceasefire and troop withdrawal from Hodeidah, which became the focus of the war last year when the coalition tried to seize the port, the Houthis’ main supply line and a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.
The quartet’s statement called on all Yemeni parties to engage constructively with U.N. special envoy Martin Griffiths to accelerate implementation of the agreement.
The deal, reached at peace talks in Sweden last December, had stalled for months before the Houthis unilaterally withdrew from three Red Sea ports in Hodeidah.
The Saudi-led alliance has yet to verify the redeployment or meet it by pulling back pro-coalition troops massed on the outskirts of Hodeidah.