US calls on Houthis to stop attacks on Yemeni and Saudi civilians

State Department reacts to thwarted effort by Iran-backed rebels on Jeddah on Saturday

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking. Saudi Press Agency via Reuters
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking. Saudi Press Agency via Reuters

The US State Department called on Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels to stop attacking civilians in the country and in neighbouring Saudi Arabia following another strike at the kingdom on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia intercepted an airborne attack on Jeddah on Saturday morning, the Saudi Defence Ministry said.

The King Abdulaziz Airport in Jeddah was unaffected and flights continued normally, the state Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi Arabia announced a peace initiative in March to help end the civil war in Yemen. However, the Houthi rebels have intensified attacks with explosive laden-drones and ballistic missiles on Saudi civilian targets, including airports and oil infrastructure.

The Saudi-led Arab Coalition destroyed a drone launched by the Houthis on Wednesday.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a recent interview that the peace offer was still on the table. “We still have our offer open to cease fire and provide economic support and everything they need as long as Houthis agree to a ceasefire and sitting at the negotiating table,” he said.

Prince Mohammed held talks with visiting US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking, SPA reported on Friday.

A State Department delegation is scheduled to arrive in the Middle East for a visit that is expected to include Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Jordan.

Updated: May 2, 2021 10:15 AM

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