June 17, 2019

Yemen rebel attack wounds 26 at Saudi airport

12 June 2019, 04:09 | Glen Norman

Houthi missile attack on Saudi airport wounds 26

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attend a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland

A Yemeni rebel missile attack on an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia wounded 26 civilians on Wednesday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels said.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Houthi rebel group claimed responsibility on targeting the Abha airport by a cruise missile, saying that the missile "hit the target accurately".

To discuss the latest updates we speak with Mahjoob Zweiri, director of the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University, our Yemen correspondent Mohammed Al Attab from Sanaa and, finally, journalist Hussain Al Bukhaiti who joins us from Sanaa.

He says three women and two children are among the 26 hurt in the attack.

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This aggression to the airport, which is approximately 125 miles north of the border with Yemen and serves domestic and regional routes, comes just days after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted multiple drones fired by the group targeting Jizan Airport - a small airport for short haul worldwide arrivals and departures to near countries such as Emirates and Egypt.

Al Malki added that eight of the wounded were admitted to hospital while a further 18 were released after being treated for minor injuries.

Flights out of the airport resumed around four hours after the incident, although an EgyptAir flight was cancelled.

Abha, capital of Asir province, lies high in the lush Asir mountains and is a popular getaway for Saudis seeking escape from the searing summer heat of Riyadh or Jeddah.

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He said the attack on the terminal in the kingdom's south-west amounts to "war crimes" and that the coalition would hold the rebels responsible, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

Malki said military and security forces were working to determine the type of projectile used in the terrorist attack. Backed by a supply of arms and training by Western allies, the coalition has been continuously accused of war crimes for striking civilian targets and for leading a blockade that has put millions of Yemenis on the brink of starvation. He said the coalition would "take stern action" to deter the rebels and protect civilians. The Houthis deny being puppets of Iran and say their revolution is against corruption.

The Houthi group last month stepped up its attacks following a lull a year ago ahead of UN-led peace efforts.

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