Missile attack on Saudi airport wounds 26

Sergio Conner
June 12, 2019

Col. Turki al-Maliki, spokesman for the coalition, was quoted in a statement released by Saudi Press Agency (SPA) as saying: "A hostile projectile fell early on Wednesday at the arrival hall of the Abha airport, through which thousands of civilian passengers pass every day".

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.

Among those wounded in the attack, there are three women of Yemeni, Indian and Saudi nationality, and two Saudi children.

Last month, the Saudi air force shot down a bomb-laden drone deployed by Houthi rebels that targeted Jizan airport, close to the southern border with Yemen, the coalition said.

The other 18 were discharged after receiving first aid. Flights were disrupted for several hours before returning to normal.

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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Maliki said: "The military and security forces are working to determine the type of missile used in the terrorist attack, while the Iran-backed Houthi terrorist militia, through its media, claimed full responsibility for this terrorist act using a cruise missile". He said the coalition would "take stern action" to deter the rebels and protect civilians.

Yemen's civil war has been raging since March 2015, with the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in the Middle East state.

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

The Houthis have previously targeted Saudi cities with drones and missiles, most of which have been intercepted.

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

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