Middle East

Houthis hit Saudi airport in drone attack


One person has died and 21 others have been wounded after Yemen's Houthis launched a drone attack on a Saudi airport; the coalition fighting the group says.

Yemen's Houthi movement launched an attack on Abha civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia, killing one person and wounding 21 others, the Saudi-led coalition battling the group in Yemen says.

Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV said the Iran-aligned movement had targeted Abha and Jizan airports in the south of the kingdom with drone attacks.

"A terrorist attack by the Iran-backed Houthi militia targeted Abha airport, killing a Syrian resident and wounding seven civilians," the coalition said in a statement carried on Saudi state television on Sunday.

It did not confirm an attack on Jizan airport.

Abha airport in Saudi Arabia.
Abha airport in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV said a suspected drone hit the parking lot in Abha airport, about 200km north of the Yemen border. Flights had since resumed at the airport and operations were now running normally.

Attacks escalating amid rising tensions in Iran

Earlier this month, a Houthi missile hit Abha airport, wounding 26 people.

The Western-backed Sunni Muslim coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in Yemen in 2015 to restore the internationally recognised government ousted from power in Sana'a by the Houthis in 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.

Riyadh has accused Iran of supplying the Houthis with the weapon used in the June 13 attack on Abha airport, an allegation denied by Tehran.

The Saudi-led military coalition has targeted Houthi military sites around the capital Sana'a and Hodeidah port city.

Yemeni government forces advance during fighting against Houthi rebels.
Yemeni government forces advance during fighting against Houthi rebels.

Middle East, US and Britain condemn terrorist attacks

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Britain and the US, in a joint statement published by the Saudi embassy in Washington on Sunday, voiced concern about the escalation in Houthi attacks, without 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.

Tehran has denied involvement in the tanker attacks.

The escalation in violence threatens a UN-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 deal, reached at peace talks in Sweden last December, had stalled before the Houthis unilaterally withdrew from three Red Sea ports in Hodeidah.

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