Iran-backed Houthis Attack Saudi Airport With Cruise Missile – Injure 26

Saudi Arabia has been at war against the Iranian-allied Houthis in Yemen since 2015. The kingdom accuses Iran of arming the rebels, which Iran denies

File Photo: Tribesmen loyal to Houthi rebels hold up their weapons as they attend a gathering to show their support for the ongoing peace talks being held in Sweden, in Sanaa, Yemen.
Hani Mohammed,AP

The Saudi-led coalition confirmed that Yemen's Houthi group has attacked Saudi Arabia's Abha airport, adding that 26 people were injured, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday. 

The attack comes as Japan's prime minister is expected in Iran to mediate between Tehran and Washington amid escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf regions.

Coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki says a projectile struck the arrival hall of Abha's airport in the southern part of the kingdom near its border with Yemen. That's according to Saudi Arabia's state-run Al-Ekhabriya news channel. The Saudi-led military coalition vowed to respond firmly to the missile attack.

Al-Malki says three women and two children are among the 26 hurt in the attack. Eight have been hospitalized and the rest sustained minor injuries. The Houthis earlier on Wednesday claimed they'd launched a cruise missile at the Abha airport.

Saudi Arabia's Abha airport
Wikimedia commons / Java4

Saudi Arabia has been at war against the Iranian-allied Houthis in Yemen since 2015. The kingdom accuses Iran of arming the rebels, which Iran denies.

In May, Houthi rebels launched a drone attack on Saudi Arabia's Najran airport.

It said it targeted hangars containing war planes. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. There was also no immediate comment from Saudi Arabia or the Saudi-led coalition.

Houthi rebels said they targeted the airport in Najranwith a Qasef-2K drone, striking an "arms depot." Najran, 840 kilometers (525 miles) southwest of Riyadh, lies on the Saudi-Yemen border and has repeatedly been targeted by the Iran-allied Houthis.

The attacks come as Iran quadrupled its uranium-enrichment production capacity amid tensions with the U.S. over Tehran's atomic program, just after President Donald Trump and Iran's foreign minister traded threats and taunts on Twitter.

The New York Times last year reported that American intelligence analysts were based in Najran, assisting the Saudis and a U.S. Army Green Berets deployment on the border. The Pentagon and the U.S. military's Central Command did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Earlier in May, the Houthis launched a coordinated drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. Earlier this month, officials in the United Arab Emirates alleged that four oil tankers were sabotaged and U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.