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World reacts, condemns Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport

Arab Coalition forces intercepted a drone launched by the Iran-backed militia in Yemen targeting Abha airport in Saudi Arabia.

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Countries including the US, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have condemned the Iran-backed Houthi attack which targeted Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and injured eight people.

The Arab Coalition said forces intercepted a drone launched by the Iran-backed militia in Yemen targeting Abha airport on Tuesday, the coalition’s spokesman Brigadier General Turki al-Maliki said.

Arab Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki displays the debris of a ballistic missile which he says was launched by Yemen's Houthi group towards the capital Riyadh, during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 29, 2020. (Reuters)
Arab Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki displays the debris of a ballistic missile which he says was launched by Yemen's Houthi group towards the capital Riyadh, during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on March 29, 2020. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia’s Council of Ministers, chaired by King Salman bin Abdulaziz, condemned the attack, saying it constituted as a war crime.

The cabinet considered the Houthis two attempts to attack Abha International airport “in a systematic and deliberate manner... as a continuation of hostilities and a war crime targeting travelers of different nationalities and airport employees,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

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For their part, the General Secretariat of the Arab Interior Ministers Council on Wednesday condemned the attempted attack by the Iran-backed Houthis on Abha airport, SPA reported.

The secretariat said that this “terrorist act” represents a flagrant violation of international law and is a war crime that requires accountability and the prosecution of its perpetrators, according to SPA.

The attack is “evidence of the persistence of these militias in their transgressions and their hostile approach that violates all religious, human and moral sanctities and borders,” the secretariat said, adding that the Houthis refuse to comply with calls for peace and efforts made to reach a political solution to the Yemeni crisis.

UAE, Qatar, US

The United Arab Emirates condemned the Iran-backed Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport, according to a statement carried by the official Emirates News Agency.

The UAE said that targeting the airport is a dangerous escalation and a cowardly act that threatens the security, safety and lives of civilians and travelers, adding that it is a war crime that requires taking all necessary measures to protect civilian objects from the threats of the Houthis.

Qatar also condemned the “terrorist” Houthi militia’s attempts to target the airport in Abha.

In a statement, Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Houthi’s targeting civilians and vital facilities is an act that “violates all international norms and laws.”

For his part, the top US diplomat condemned the Houthi attack hours after the Iran-backed group targeted the civilian airport with a bomb-laden drone.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters at the State Department in Washington, US, July 16, 2021. (Reuters)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to reporters at the State Department in Washington, US, July 16, 2021. (Reuters)

“The United States strongly condemns the recent Houthi attack against Saudi Arabia that struck the civilian airport in Abha, wounding eight civilians and damaging a commercial airliner,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.

Yemeni prime minister

Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said that the continued escalation by the Iran-backed Houthi militia and the war crimes it is committing against the Yemeni people and its repeated targeting of civilian objects in Saudi Arabia is an “indication that it has dropped the option of peace,” SPA quoted him as saying.

The militia “insists on gambling with the blood of Yemenis in implementation of agendas and instructions from the Iranian regime,” Saeed added.

Earlier this week, at least 30 soldiers were killed and 60 were wounded in Iran-backed Houthi strikes on a military base belonging to forces of the Arab Coalition.

Medics on Sunday said they received seven bodies and treated more than 50 people injured in the attack on al-Anad air base in the government-held southern province of Lahij.

On Tuesday, Yemen’s Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Moammar al-Eryani, said members of the Houthi militia killed an elderly woman in front of her children in Yemen,

“Killing of old woman by Iranian-backed Houthi militia before her children in Al-Asha, Amran, reflects their brutality, criminality and indifference to blood of Yemenis,” the minister said in a tweet accompanied by a video of the incident.

Read more:

Eight people injured after explosive drone hits Abha airport in Saudi Arabia

Arab Coalition destroys Houthi drones launchpad in Sanaa after Abha airport attack

Arab Coalition destroys two Houthi explosive drones in Yemeni airspace