Yemen’s Houthis Say They Fired Drones at Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport

FILE PHOTO: Passengers wait at Saudi Arabia's Abha airport, after it was attacked by Yemen's Houthi group, Abha, Saudi Arabia June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Nael Shyoukhi

CAIRO, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group said it aimed a number of drones at Saudi Arabia’s Abha International Airport early on Tuesday and put it out of action for several hours.

A Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen said it had intercepted and destroyed an explosive drone aimed by the Houthis at civilian targets in the south of the kingdom.

Abha airport, near Saudi Arabia’s south-west border with Yemen, has been a regular target for Houthi drones and missiles over the past two years. Many have been intercepted, but some have hit, causing deaths and injuries.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Sarea said on Twitter the attack with Samad 3 drones took place at dawn.

Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 to restore the Yemeni government ousted from power in the capital Sanaa by Houthi forces in late 2014. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.

Cross-border attacks by Houthi forces have escalated since late May when a truce prompted by the coronavirus pandemic expired. In late June, missiles reached the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The Saudi-led coalition has retaliated with air strikes.

(Reporting by Hesham Abdul Khalek, Marwa Rashad ad Alaa Swilam; Writing by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Catherine Evans)

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