Saudi Arabia Confirms Yemen Rebel Drone Targeted Jizan Airport

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting against the Houthis, Col. Turki al-Maliki, says the military intercepted and destroyed the drone

Huthi fighters secure a road during the funeral of Yemenis reportedly killed during a coalition air strike a week ago, in the capital Sanaa on May 24, 2019. (
AFP

Saudi Arabia says a bomb-carrying drone launched by Yemen's Houthi rebels targeted another airport in the kingdom amid a series of such attacks.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency late Sunday reported the targeting of Jizan Regional Airport earlier that morning.

Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement launched a drone strike on military hangars in Saudi Arabia's Jizan airport near the Yemeni border, the group's Masirah TV reported on Sunday.

>> Read more: Trump may expect Riyadh to invest in peace deal, but Saudi dollars come at a high price | Analysis ■ America should tread carefully to avoid pushing Iraq further into Iran’s orbit | Analysis 

A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting against the Houthis, Col. Turki al-Maliki, said the military intercepted and destroyed the drone. Saudi state TV published images of debris it said belonged to the drone.

He said the attack targeted an airport "being used daily by thousands of Saudis and expatriates without any regard for international humanitarian law and its customary rules, which gives special protection to civilian objects."

Saudi Arabia has faced widespread international criticism over airstrikes in Yemen striking markets and hospitals, killing civilians.

The Houthis, who ousted the Saudi-backed internationally recognised government from power in the Yemeni capital Sanaa in late 2014, have stepped up missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities in the past two weeks.

The group claimed responsibility for last week's armed drone strikes on oil assets in Saudi Arabia and on Sunday said they would attack 300 vital military targets in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Last week, the group claimed three strikes on Najran airport in Saudi Arabia. 

The latest hostilities coincide with rising tensions between Iran and Gulf Arab states allied to the United States and come just as a sensitive, U.N.-sponsored peace deal is being carried out in Yemen's main port of Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions.