Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan and his US counterpart discussed in a telephone conversation the attack on Abha airport and several regional developments, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.
Prince Faisal and Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed the importance of stopping the hostile actions of the Iran-backed Houthi militia, as well as the need to reach political solution to end the ongoing conflict in Yemen.
Blinken reiterated Washington’s condemnation of Wednesday’s attack on the Abha airport that caused a civilian airplane to catch on fire.
“Secretary Blinken condemned the Houthi attacks against the Abha International Airport, which struck a civilian airliner,” the US State Department said in a statement.
“Secretary Blinken and the Foreign Minister discussed joint efforts to bolster Saudi defenses against attacks on the Kingdom. The Secretary and Foreign Minister outlined diplomatic outreach to find a negotiated political settlement to the war in Yemen, including through the US Special Envoy to Yemen’s recent engagements with regional partners, humanitarian aid organizations, the UN Special Envoy, and other stakeholders,” the State Department added.
The Iran-backed group took responsibility for the attack shortly after the airport was hit.
Pictures of the wreckage from the explosive drone that tried to target Abha Int’l Airport today. This latest Houthi terrorist attack, which endangered the lives of hundreds of civilians from different nationalities, is a war crime and a flagrant violation of international law. pic.twitter.com/FTAZ4U4Rw6— Saudi Embassy (@SaudiEmbassyUSA) February 10, 2021
“The UAV air force targeted the airfields of warplanes at Abha International Airport - which is used for military purposes to target the Yemeni people - with four drones,” Yahya Sarie,” Houthi military spokesman said in a tweet.
“The strike was accurate, thanks to God.”
A US State Department spokesperson told pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat on Thursday that Washington will continue to put pressure on the Iran-backed Houthi militia in an effort to end the group’s “heinous” attacks in the region.