Houthi attack on Saudi airport wounds nine – coalition

The drone attack targeted Abha regional airport, which has repeatedly been hit by the Yemeni rebel group in recent weeks.

A Yemeni rebel attack on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia wounded nine civilians on Tuesday, a Riyadh-led coalition said, the latest in a series of strikes on the site.

“The terrorist attack on Abha airport… led to the injury of nine civilians, including eight Saudi citizens and one carrying an Indian passport,” the military coalition said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Earlier, the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels said they “launched a wide operation targeting warplanes at Abha international airport” with drones, according to their Al Masira television channel.

The Houthis in neighbouring Yemen have stepped up missile and drone attacks across the border into Saudi Arabia in recent weeks. 

Yemen has been caught between persistent bombing by the Saudi and UAE-led coalition in support of the Aden government and the Houthi uprising since March 2015, a war which has exacted a heavy civilian death toll.

And on June 23, a Houthi attack on Abha airport killed a Syrian national and wounded 21 other civilians, according to the coalition.

On June 12, a missile attack on Abha airport wounded 26 civilians, drawing promises of “stern action” from the coalition.

The Houthi raids come amid heightened regional tensions after Washington – a key ally of Riyadh – accused Iran of shooting down a US drone over international waters and of carrying out attacks on oil tankers in the strategic Gulf of Oman.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying sophisticated weapons to Houthi rebels, a charge Tehran denies.

Following recent attacks, Saudi state media have reported an intensification of coalition air raids on rebel positions in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah and the Houthi-held Yemeni city of Sanaa.

The coalition intervened in support of the Yemeni government in 2015 when President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile as the rebels closed in on his last remaining territory in and around the second city Aden.

Since then, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say. 

The fighting has triggered what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. 

Source: AFP

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