Accessibility links

Breaking News

Saudis Confirm Houthi Drone Attack on Airbase in Najra


People inspect the site of an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa, Yemen, May, 16, 2019.
People inspect the site of an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition in Sanaa, Yemen, May, 16, 2019.

Yemen's Houthi militia group says it attacked a weapons depot Tuesday at an airport in the Saudi city of Najran. A Saudi coalition spokesman confirmed the attack, saying an armed drone was used, but a civilian target was hit.

Arab media reported that an armed Houthi drone hit a weapons depot Tuesday at the main airport in the Saudi city of Najran, setting off an explosion. It was not clear if there were casualties.

Saudi coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki confirmed the attack, insisting that the Houthis had "attempted to target a civilian target" in Najran, and adding that Saudi-coalition forces would respond. The airport at Najran has both a civilian and a military component.

Al-Maliki was quoted by Sky News Arabia as warning the Houthis "not to carry out attacks on civilian infrastructure," or the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen would "respond firmly ... in accordance with international law."

The Houthis' military spokesman, General Yahya Saree, indicated last week the group's "Masir" drones had attacked several pumping stations on the Saudi oil pipeline to Yanbah. Saree claimed earlier this year that Houthi drones would "step up" attacks on targets inside Saudi Arabia and its coalition ally the UAE.

Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV broadcast video Monday of what it claimed were Houthi missiles being intercepted after an alleged attack on the Saudi holy city of Mecca. The TV channel claimed it was the third such Houthi attack on Mecca since 2017.

Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, tells VOA he thinks the Houthis "are coordinating their attacks on Saudi Arabia with the Iranians." He added, however, he did not think the U.S. would "respond to Houthi attacks inside Saudi Arabia, since they are part of a war that has been going on for five years, now."

Saudi Arabia has announced it will hold both an Arab and a Gulf Cooperation summit in Mecca on May 30 to discuss the regional conflict with Iran, as well as the situation in Yemen.