Saudi airport attacked | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Saudi airport attacked

At least 26 people were injured yesterday when a Houthi missile fired from Yemen hit Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia. The Arab Coalition fighting to support Yemen’s government vowed a firm response and said the attack proved Tehran’s support for cross-border terrorism. The attack took place in the early hours when the missile hit the arrival lounge of the airport in Asir Province at 2:21 a.m. The coalition said the injured were all civilians of different nationalities and included two Saudi children and three women - a Saudi, a Yemeni and an Indian.

Eight people were transferred to hospital for treatment for moderate injuries, while 18 were treated at the site for minor injuries. The general supervisor of Asir Central Hospital told Al Ekhbariya that all the patients had been discharged by 10 a.m. Part of the airport lounge was damaged, but television pictures later showed passengers queueing inside the airport as normal services resumed. Coalition spokesman Col Turki Al Maliki said the military and security forces were working to determine the type of “hostile projectile” used in the attack.

 The Iran-backed Houthi militia, has fired dozens of missiles into Saudi Arabia from Yemen, either short range missiles across the border or longerrange ballistic missiles targeting the Kingdom’s main cities.  Saudi Arabia and its allies have blamed Iran for supplying ballistic missiles and drones to the Houthis. If a cruise missile, which flies at lower altitudes than ballistic missiles, has been used in the attack, it would raise further concerns that Iran is supplying increasingly sophisticated weaponry to the militants. The attack “proves this terrorist militia’s acquisition of new special weapons; the continuation of the Iranian regime’s support and practice of cross-border terrorism,” Al Maliki said.

He said the attack could amount to a war crime and that the coalition would take “urgent and timely” measures in response. He later told Al Arabiya that the evidence so far suggests that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps provided the weapons that targeted the airport. Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz, the governor of the Asir region, said that attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis would not affect the security and stability of Saudi Arabia and that plots to destabilize the Kingdom would not succeed. A Houthi military spokesman Tuesday threatened that the group would target every airport in Saudi Arabia and that the coming days would reveal “big surprises”.

Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation authorities said that airport operations and air traffic had returned to normal. Thousands of passengers pass through Abha airport every day. The Yemeni government, which the Houthis drove from Sanaa in 2014 to spark the war, said that only military action will end the militia’s “terrorism,” Al Arabiya reported.