Yemen PM says precision-guided missiles used in Aden airport attack

Experts examining debris to determine the type and origin of the missiles

Yemen prime minister says Aden attack aimed to 'eliminate' government

Yemen prime minister says Aden attack aimed to 'eliminate' government
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An attack on Aden airport as Yemen's unity government arrived there last week involved three precision-guided missiles, Prime Minister Maeen Saeed said.

There were explosions as Mr Saeed and Cabinet members disembarked from their plane. All the ministers survived, but 26 people were killed and more were feared dead. A hundred others were wounded.

Mr Saeed said the missiles were targeted on his plane, the arrival hall and the VIP lounge of the airport.

"The guidance accuracy was great. The operation was huge," he told Associated Press on Saturday.

Speaking at his office in the Mashiq Palace in Aden, Mr Saeed said Iran-backed Houthi rebels were responsible for the attack. The techniques used had hallmarks of the Houthis' strategy, he said.

The rebels denied responsibility for the attack.

“It’s a major terrorist attack that was meant to eliminate the government," Mr Saeed said. “It was a message against peace and stability in Yemen.”

The prime minister said Yemeni investigators had collected the remains of the missiles and that experts from the Saudi-led coalition supporting his government and from the United States would help to determine the type and origin of the missiles.

President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi inaugurated the Cabinet a week earlier as part of a Saudi-brokered agreement to end a political rift between the government and the Southern Transitional Council, which advocates secession for southern Yemen. The two sides are allies against the Houthis, who have controlled much of northern Yemen since 2015.

In 2015, former Yemeni prime minister Khaled Bahah and members of his Cabinet survived a missile attack, blamed on the Houthis, at an Aden hotel.

In 2019, the Houthis fired a missile at the base of a pro-government militia in Aden during a military parade, killing dozens of people.

Mr Saeed said his government would prioritise security and stability in government-held areas after months of infighting between government and the STC.

“Whatever the challenges in Aden, the government remains,” he said.