Yemen’s Houthis claim new attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport

New drone attack comes days after Saudi-led coalition bombed Sanaa as two sides engage in tit-for-tat attacks.

Abha [Screengrab]
Abha airport [Screengrab]

Yemen’s Houthi movement launched a new drone attack targeting the Abha airport in southern Saudi Arabia, the group’s Al Masirah TV said on Monday.

There was no immediate confirmation of the attack from Saudi Arabia, which on Saturday launched air attacks on Houthi rebel forces in Yemen’s capital Sanaa, part of an escalation of tit-for-tat attacks that has stoked regional tensions.

The Houthis have stepped up drone and missile attacks on cities in neighbouring Saudi Arabia in recent months as tensions have risen between Iran and Gulf Arab states allied with the United States further afield across the Middle East.

In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in support of the internationally recognised President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was forced out of power by the Houthis.


Last week, the Houthis launched several drone and missile attacks targeting southern regions of Saudi Arabia, including Abha, Khamis Mushait and Jizan.

At least 26 people were wounded in a missile attack on Jizan airport carried out by the Houthis on Wednesday.

Proxy war

Since the Western-backed coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) began their military campaign nearly four years ago, more than 10,000 people have been killed.

The civil war has pushed the impoverished country to the verge of famine, according to the United Nations and aid agencies.

The Yemen conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Attacks on oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz has raised tensions, with the US and Saudi Arabia pointing the finger at Tehran.


But the Houthis have denied taking any orders from Tehran and say they took up arms to fight corruption.

The rebels said they had the right to defend themselves in the face of more than four years of Saudi-UAE bombing and an air and sea blockade.

A spokesman of the Houthi forces had issued a warning on Friday to airlines and civilians to avoid Saudi airports and military sites threatening further raids.

“We tell the Saudi regime that our operations against airports and military sites will continue as long as Saudi aggression against our country continues.

“We also call on airline companies and civilians to stay away from airports and military sites as they have become legitimate targets,” spokesman Yahya Sariee said in a Facebook post.

In May, two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia were targeted by Houthi drones causing minor supply disruptions highlighting an apparent significant leap in the drone capabilities of the Houthis.

Abha Airport map, Saudi Arabia
Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies