According to local media reports, at least 12 people were injured when Saudi air defense thwarted a drone attack on Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia’s Asir Province near the Yemeni border today.
As Saudi security forces intercepted and destroyed a drone, launched by Yemen’s Houthis, over the airport, 12 people on the ground were injured by a shrapnel from the aerial explosion.
“Saudi defense forces destroyed a drone launched towards Abha International Airport,” Saudi Press Agency reported.
12 civilians of various nationalities were hurt, the report added, describing those wounded as citizens of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka, as well as two Saudis.
Yemen’s Houthi militants, who have been waging war against the Saudi-backed government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and a Saudi-led military coalition since 2015, claimed responsibility for the attack and called the target “an important military site at Abha airport.”
Abha is a civilian airport but is protected by Saudi air defenses. It has been targeted by Houthi missiles and drones seven times since 2019, with one attack in mid-2019 killing a Syrian national and wounding seven.
The Houthi militants have also more recently turned their attention to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), targeting it with drones and missiles four times since mid-January.
There are around 5,000 US troops stationed in Abu Dhabi, and although the US ceased offensive operations against the Houthis last year and the UAE withdrew its ground troops from Yemen in 2020, both nations continue to support the Saudi-led campaign there.
Houthis’ attacks on UAE recently prompted Israeli security officials to demand increased security at Dubai International Airport served by three major Israeli airlines.