Saudi-led coalition strikes Sanaa airport in Yemen after drone attacks

Air strikes hit six sites used for cross-border attacks

A Yemeni fighter patrols Sanaa's airport in September. The Saudi-led coalition says the airport was being used to launch drone attacks into Saudi Arabia. Photo: EPA

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has carried out air strikes on the international airport of Sanaa, the Houthi-controlled capital, after asking civilians to leave the area, state media has reported.

"The operation comes in response to threats and the use of the airport's facilities to launch cross-border attacks," it said.

Humanitarian workers at the airport were asked to leave the area on Monday as the coalition took "legal measures to deal with the threat operationally", reports said.

It lifted its protection from specific sites in the airport and carried out strikes on "legitimate military targets".

The strikes hit six sites, coalition spokesman Brig Gen Turki Al Malki said. These included places used for launching drone attacks, for training and housing drone personnel, and for storing the devices.

"Destroying these targets will not have any effect on the operational capacity of the airport, and will not affect managing the airspace, the air traffic and ground handling operations," he said.

During the seven-year conflict, forces of the Iran-aligned Houthi movement have sent drones and fired missiles into Saudi Arabia. The Saudi-led coalition has retaliated with airstrikes inside Yemen.

On Sunday, the coalition said it had destroyed a drone launched from the Sanaa airport that was aimed at civilians at Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Airport in Jizan, near the border with Yemen.

The coalition also said on Sunday it carried out a military operation in Sanaa to destroy workshops and warehouses used for drones and other weapons, urging civilians to avoid the area.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 after the Houthis ousted the internationally recognised government.

Updated: December 21st 2021, 4:44 AM