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Yemen's Houthis strike Saudi airport in new drone attack Open in fullscreen

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Yemen's Houthis strike Saudi airport in new drone attack

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack on Najran airport (Getty)

Date of publication: 21 May, 2019

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The Houthi rebels have attacked Najran Airport in Saudi Arabia, which contains a military base, with a bomb-laden drone.
Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels said Tuesday that they had launched a bomb-laden drone into Saudi Arabia, targeting an airport with a military base.

The attack was acknowledged by the Saudi government as tensions in the region remain high between Iran and the US, over an alleged sabotage incident.

It was not clear if there were any injuries or what the extent of damage was done to the airport in southwest Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis' Al-Masirah satellite news channel said early Tuesday that they targeted the airport in Najran with a Qasef-2K drone, striking an "arms depot".

Najran, 840 kilometers southwest of Riyadh, is near the Saudi-Yemen border and has repeatedly been targeted by the Iran-allied Houthis.

A statement earlier on the state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted Saudi-led coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki as saying the Houthis "had tried to target" a civilian site in Najran, without elaborating.

Al-Maliki warned there would be a "strong deterrent" to such attacks and described the Houthis as "terrorist militias of Iran".

Similar Houthi attacks in the past have sparked rounds of Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen, which have been widely criticised for killing civilians.

Civilian airports throughout the Middle East often host military bases.

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

On Monday, Saudi media accused the Houthis of launching ballistic missiles at the Mecca area - an attack strongly denied by the Houthis.

Last week, the rebels launched coordinated drone assaults on a Saudi oil pipeline amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US.

 

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