Rebels launch drone attack on Saudi airport, injuring 9
A second attack in two months on an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia has wounded nine people, according to a Saudi-led coalition statement.
Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack Tuesday on Abha International Airport, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah news agency. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels confirmed the drone attack and said it believed Tehran was involved in the operation.
Eight Saudis and one Indian national were among the injured, according to the Saudi Press Agency. The airport is located in the Abha mountain region, a popular vacation destination.
“The terrorist Houthi militia is continuously and immorally targeting civilians,” said the Saudi-led coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki on Tuesday. “The continuation of these terror attacks in an advanced manner proves the Iranian regime’s involvement in supporting the terrorist Houthi militia.”
Last month, a Houthi missile struck the arrivals hall of the same airport, injuring 26.
Tuesday’s incident comes as tensions between Iran and the United States have approached fever pitch.
On Monday, Iran announced that its stockpiles of enriched low-grade uranium exceeded the 300-kilogram limit set in a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.
The move is thought to be Tehran’s first major breach of the accord since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the agreement last year. The deal limited Iran’s uranium enrichment in exchange for an easing of international sanctions.
Iran had threatened to surpass the maximum permitted amount of enriched uranium in retaliation to crippling US economic sanctions.
Last week, the US dispatched top-of-the-line F-22 stealth fighters to nearby Qatar. The deployment came a week after an Iranian surface-to-air missile shot down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most vital strategic shipping routes.
Iran said the drone was in its airspace, but Washington said it was over international waters.
The U.S. has also blamed Iran for explosions on two oil tankers this month near the strait, as well as on four commercial ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in May. Iran has categorically denied responsibility for the ship attacks.