A civilian plane caught fire after Iran-aligned Houti militia attacked Abha International Airport located in southwestern Saudi Arabia.
Col. Turki al-Maliki, the spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen, said forces intercepted and destroyed two bomb-laden drones launched by the Houtis toward the kingdom’s south on Wednesday.
Saudi’s state-owned Al-Ekhbariya said the drones were the Qasef-1 model. It is virtually identical in design to the Iranian-manufactured Ababil-T. Abha airport is located about 120km north of the Yemen border.
Photographs later aired by Saudi state television showed a 3-year-old Airbus A320 flown by low-cost carrier FlyADeal with a hole in fuselage and scorch marks on the metal.
Notable attacks by the rebels in the past include the one on Riyadh's international airport in November 2017 with their Scud-Type Borkan-2H missile; and a drone/cruise missile attack on Saudi oil fields in September 2019 that temporarily reduced 5% of global oil supply and sent its prices spiralling upwards. The former sent alarm bells ringing as Riyadh is nearly 1,000km north of the border with Yemen.
He stated that the aggressive Saudi regime ignores all our previous and repeated warnings of using civilian airports for military purposes. He said that this offensive comes in response to the US-Saudi crimes and siege against Yemeni People.