Sixteen injured in Saudi Arabia as Houthi drone targets Jizan airport

The coalition fighting the Yemeni rebels said no casualties or damage were reported

A frame grab from an undated Houthi handout video made available on February 15, 2022 shows a military drone taking off from an unknown location in Yemen. EPA

An explosive drone was intercepted above King Abdullah Airport in Jizan, south-western Saudi Arabia, injuring 16 people on Monday, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthis said.

The missile was destroyed but send debris raining down on the airport.

The incident came just hours after a drone landed in Maabouj, a village about 60 kilometres from Jizan city centre.

It was launched by the Iran-backed rebels and did not cause casualties or damage, the coalition said.

“The drone was launched from Sanaa International Airport to target civilians,” the coalition said in a statement.

Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia have become increasingly common, with air defence teams intercepting rockets and drones almost daily.

In response to the latest attack, the coalition said a military operation would be carried out to “neutralise the Houthis’ specific capabilities”.

On Friday, the Saudi-led coalition said it had destroyed a drone control operations room in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in an air strike.

Experts and officials say the Houthi drone and missile programme has become more sophisticated with assistance from Iran and its main proxy, Hezbollah.

Yemen has been engulfed by civil war since 2015, months after the Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized control of Sanaa.

They took over much of the country’s north and forced the government to flee to the south, then on to Saudi Arabia.

Updated: February 21, 2022, 6:02 PM