Ten wounded in Saudi Arabia as drone attack damages airport

Injuries sustained when 'a hostile projectile fell on King Abdullah Airport'

Ten people were injured on Friday in an attack by an explosives-laden drone at King Abdullah Airport in Saudi Arabia's southern city of Jizan.

Six Saudis, three Bangladeshis and one Sudanese national suffered minor injuries, reports said. Some of the airport's windows were shattered in the attack, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition told state news agency SPA.

The injuries happened when "a hostile projectile fell on King Abdullah Airport", said a statement from the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility by the Houthis.

Attacks against Saudi targets have been blamed on Houthi forces fighting the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. The coalition, which intervened in March 2015 to reinstate the ousted government, has often retaliated against cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia with air strikes in Yemen.

Four workers were wounded on Wednesday when the coalition intercepted an explosives-laden drone targeting the kingdom's Abha airport, state media said.

The coalition said the workers sustained minor injuries from the drone's debris, SPA reported.

On August 31, a drone hit the same airport, wounding eight people and damaging a civilian aircraft.

In recent years, Saudi Arabian air and ground defences have become more effective at intercepting Houthi drones and ballistic missiles.

Speaking in Riyadh on March 8, the spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition, Colonel Turki Al Malki, confirmed that most devices fired at the kingdom were being shot down.

“No country in the world has been able to confront these drones the way Saudi Arabia has,” he said.

As well as low flying drones, the Houthis have fired at least 350 ballistic missiles, similar to Soviet-era Scud missiles. Like the drones launched by the Houthis, the Burkan 2 missile is thought to have been designed and assembled in Iran, based on the Qiam ballistic missile.

Since 2017, international organisations including the UN have warned that drones and missiles possessed by Houthi militias are likely Iranian in origin, based on their strong similarity to Iranian designs.

Yemen has been ravaged by war, disease and hunger since the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa and overthrew the government in 2014.

Late last month Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had a detailed discussion about the war in Yemen with US President Joe Biden's national security adviser Jake Sullivan, a senior administration official said.

UN special envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg, from Sweden, also met Saudi officials to discuss ending the conflict last month.

Updated: October 9th 2021, 1:00 PM