16 injured as Yemeni rebel drone targets Saudi airport

Sixteen people including foreigners were injured in Saudi Arabia when the kingdom destroyed a drone launched at an airport by Yemeni rebels, the Saudi-led coalition said on Monday.

This is the second airport attack in less than two weeks blamed or claimed by the Iran-backed Houthi insurgents.

The rebels regularly launch attacks against Saudi Arabia, which for seven years has led the military coalition that intervened to support the Yemeni government in the face of Houthi advances.

“A drone launched towards King Abdullah airport in Jazan was destroyed, and debris fell inside the airport,” the coalition said, as reported by the Saudi Press Agency. official.

“Sixteen civilians of different nationalities were injured”, he said, accusing the Houthis of “again launching cross-border attacks from Sanaa airport”.

The airport and the Yemeni capital of Sanaa are held by the Houthis, who claimed responsibility for an attack that took place on February 10, also in southwestern Saudi Arabia, near Yemen.

Kingdom officials said 12 people were injured on the occasion by falling debris when the Saudi military detonated a “bomb-laden” Yemeni rebel drone targeting Abha International Airport.

In response, the coalition said on February 14 that it destroyed a communications system used for drone attacks located near the Telecoms Ministry in Sanaa.

In December, the coalition said the Houthis had fired more than 850 attack drones and 400 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia in the previous seven years, killing a total of 59 civilians.

That figure compares to 401 coalition airstrikes in January alone over Yemen, according to the Yemen Data Project, an independent tracker that reported about 9,000 civilians killed in strikes in this country since 2015.

Rights groups have long criticized the coalition for civilian casualties from its aerial bombings.

The latest Houthi drone attack came as the United Arab Emirates, another coalition member, hosts a drone-focused defense conference. The United Arab Emirates and its allies warned at the conference on Sunday of the growing threat of drone attacks, as militants in the Middle East quickly take a liking to cheap and easily accessible unmanned systems.

Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations, which has repeatedly warned that aid agencies are running out of funds.

The UN has estimated that the war has killed 377,000 people by the end of 2021, directly and indirectly through hunger and disease.

On Monday, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) tweeted that “following bomb attacks” overnight in Hajjah province, its emergency team at Abs General Hospital “received a 12-year-old girl and a 50-year-old woman, both dead on arrival.

They also received “10 injured civilians, mostly women and children, including a pregnant woman”.

Fighting has intensified in the province, MSF said, expressing deep concern over “the terrible impact of indiscriminate attacks, including shelling and shelling on civilians on both sides of the front lines”.

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