Saudi Arabia intercepts armed Houthi drone launched at Jizan airport

Arab Coalition says rebels ‘will pay the price’ for attack on civilian centre

Spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition Colonel Turki Al-Maliki talks during an interview with AFP in the capital Riyadh, on May 21, 2019. Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said two missiles were shot down between Jeddah and Taiz districts of Mecca province but did not elaborate on the suspected target or who fired them. / AFP / FAYEZ NURELDINE
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

A Houthi drone armed with explosives was launched towards Jizan’s airport on Sunday, the Arab Coalition fighting the Yemeni rebels said.

King Abdullah Airport, which is close to the border with Yemen, is used by thousands of civilians each day, said Arab Coalition spokesman Col Turki Al Malki.

“The Saudi air forces managed to destroy a Houthi drone at 7.14 this morning aimed at King Abdullah airport in Jizan,” he told the Saudi Press Agency.

“The Houthis will pay the price.”

Col Al Malki said the rebels had shown no compliance towards international laws.

Pictures of the destroyed drone were posted on the Twitter account of Saudi Press Agency.

Yemen’s Iran-backed rebels have increased missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia in the past two weeks amid a standoff between the US and Iran.

On Thursday, Saudi defences intercepted a Houthi drone attack on the city of Najran, also near the Yemeni border.

That attack was the third Houthi attempt to strike Najran in a week, SPA reported.

The Houthis took responsibility for drone strikes on oil stations in Saudi Arabia on May 14, and last week said they were planning attacks on 300 targets in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and their bases in Yemen.

The two countries are leading the military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to restore the internationally recognised government, which was pushed out of Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014.