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Arab Coalition: 26 injured in Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport

The Iran-backed rebels claimed responsibility for the terror attack


Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels attacked Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport on Wednesday, injuring 26 people, the Arab Coalition said

Spokesman Col Turki Al Malki said a projectile, of a type that is yet to be determined, fell on the airport’s arrival hall, which is used by thousands of civilians on a daily basis, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency

He said the attack on the airport amounts to “war crimes” and that the Coalition would hold the rebels responsible. The airport lies around 200 kilometers north of the Saudi border with Yemen in the Kingdom’s south-west

“The attack on the airport proves that the rebels have sophisticated weapons and the Iranian regime continues to support cross-border terrorism,” Col Al Malki said

The attack was carried out at 2am on Wednesday morning. Of those injured, eight have been admitted to hospital and 18 were treated for minor injures. They are of different nationalities and at least three are women

Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation body said on Wednesday afternoon that air traffic had returned to normal at the airport

Abha Airport serves both Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE, as well as other locations around the Middle East.

Houthi-backed Al Masirah TV announced the attack and claimed the rebels had targeted the airport with a cruise missile. Saudi Arabia’s military and security forces are working to determine the type of rocket that was used during the attack, Col Al Malki said.

“The targeting of Abha airport proves that the Houthis have obtained advanced weapons from Iran,” a Coalition statement said.

Riyadh is leading the Coalition in Yemen – of which the UAE is an important member – in support of the internationally recognised government in its ongoing conflict with the Houthis.

Yemen’s internationally recognised government condemned the attack.

“The aggression is part of a series of attacks and violations of international laws by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels against civilians in Yemen and on neighbouring countries,” Majid Fadhil, Yemen’s deputy human rights minister, told The National.

“We must condemn these violations and hold the international community responsible for failing to support and help the government to battle the militias.”

Mr Fadhil also said that the attack indicates that Iran is smuggling arms into Yemen to support the rebels “who have been killing Yemeni people since 2014 and threatening international peace”.

Rana Ghanem, assistant secretary of Yemen’s Nasser organisation, said that any action that targets civilians is considered a war crime.

“This direct targeting confirms that the Houthis do not want peace nor do they care about the interests of the Yemeni people and are dedicated to continuing the conflict,” Ms Ghanem said.

“Their actions are part of an Iranian project, and it is the only side that is benefiting from this war.”

Hamza Al Kamaly, Yemen’s deputy youth minister of youth, said that the Houthi’s would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons if Iran were to provide them and “this is dangerous”.

The attack marks a “dangerous escalation” in the region, Bahrain’s Foreign Mister advised on Wednesday.

“What is required is a clear and strict international stance towards the Houthis and their Iranian backing,” said Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

The attack follows an armed drone strike last month on two oil-pumping stations in the Kingdom that was also claimed by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia accused Iran of ordering the attack, a charge that Tehran denies. furniture

The UK submitted a draft resolution to the United Nation’s Security Council on Monday condemning the oil facility attack.

“The attacks represent a threat to the Kingdom’s national security, as well as posing as a threat to regional security,” the draft said.

The rebels have stepped up drone and missile attacks amid increasing tensions between Iran and the United States.

On Monday, Saudi air defence intercepted two Houthi drones that were targeting the southern city of Khamis Mushait, roughly 815km south-west of the capital Riyadh and near the Kingdom’s border with Yemen.

“The attack was part of the continuing attempts by Houthi terrorists to target civilians in Saudi Arabia,” Col Al Malki said during a press conference in Riyadh on Monday evening.

In the last few weeks, rebels have also targeted an airport in the port city of Jizan and the city of Najran near the Yemeni border.

War erupted in Yemen in 2014 after Houthi rebels drove the internationally recognised government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi from the capital, Sanaa, leading to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.


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