Yemeni rebel missile attack injures 26 at airport in Saudi Arabia

Posted In: News Date:Jun 12th, 2019

Yemeni rebels said they fired a cruise missile at a civilian airport in Saudi Arabia, an attack Riyadh said hit the arrivals hall and wounded 26 people.

The attack is part of an increasingly sophisticated Houthi campaign targeting Saudi sites and is certain to lead to the Saudis launching severe reprisals in Yemen, and possibly against Iran, which is allied to the Houthis.

Diplomats have long feared that the Yemen civil war, now into its fifth year, could spill over into the wider Iran-Saudi conflict with Riyadh accusing Tehran of providing logistical and technical support for the Houthi attacks.

No fatalities were reported in the airport attack, but the number of civilians wounded was the largest in any attack by Houthi rebels in Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis’ al-Masirah satellite news channel said the missile hit its intended target, Abha airport, near the Yemen border, disrupting flights. The Houthis have also been carrying out drone strikes on Saudi oil installations and may have been responsible for recent attacks on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

A UAE-led investigation into shipping attacks was unable to identify the culprits, but said a state supported actor was involved.

The precise extent to which Iran is providing military assistance to the Houthis is a matter of dispute, but UN reports claim it has provided weaponry.