Drone attack on airport wounds 8, damages plane, reports Saudi TV
PTI, Aug 31, 2021, 4:05 PM IST
Dubai: A bomb-laden drone on Tuesday targeted an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, wounding eight people and damaging a civilian plane, Saudi state television reported the latest assault on the kingdom amid its grinding war in neighbouring Yemen.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the second such strike on Abha airport in the last 24 hours. The earlier attack, blamed on Yemen’s Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels, scattered shrapnel across the tarmac but caused no casualties.
The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen did not elaborate on the assault or provide details about those hurt, beyond saying that its forces had “intercepted” the explosive drone.
The attack comes just days after missiles and drones smashed into a key military base in Yemen’s south, killing at least 30 Saudi-backed Yemeni troops and marking one of the deadliest attacks in the country’s yearslong civil war.
No one claimed responsibility for the strike, which bore the hallmarks of the Iranian-supported rebels.
Since 2015, Yemen’s Houthi rebels battling the Saudi-led military coalition have targeted international airports, along with military installations and critical oil infrastructure, within Saudi Arabia.
Those attacks, often striking near the southern cities of Abha and Jizan, have rarely caused substantial damage but wounded dozens, killed at least one person, and rattled global oil markets.
Within Yemen, the Saudi-led bombing campaign has drawn international criticism for killing civilians, hitting non-military targets like hospitals and wedding parties, and devastating infrastructure in the Arab world’s most impoverished nation.
The Yemen war has settled into a bloody stalemate even as international diplomatic efforts to halt the fighting intensified.
The Houthis have accelerated their push to wrest control of the oil-rich government stronghold of Marib in recent months and escalated their cross-border attacks on the kingdom.
Yemen’s war started in 2014, when the rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, and much of the country’s north.
The Saudi-led military coalition intervened months later to dislodge the Houthis and restore the internationally recognized government.
The war has killed some 130,000 people and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
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