Saudi-led coalition confirms Houthi attack on airport

Arab Coalition: Houthi rocket targets Saudi Abha airport, 26 injured

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"It is essential that Iran plays a constructive role in building solid peace and stability in the Middle East", Abe told the joint news conference in Tehran with the Iranian leader, hours after Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi airport, wounding 26 people. He said at least one Indian citizen was among three women wounded along with two Saudi children.

The airport lies about 200 kilometres north of the Saudi border with Yemen in the kingdom's south-west.

To discuss the latest updates we speak with Mahjoob Zweiri, director of the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University, our Yemen correspondent Mohammed Al Attab from Sanaa and, finally, journalist Hussain Al Bukhaiti who joins us from Sanaa.

The Saudi coalition statement called it a "terrorist attack" and said that the rebels had used a "cruise missile" and targeted civilians.

There was no immediate Iranian response.

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Saudi Arabia's civil aviation body told Reuters air traffic was now running normally at the airport.

The Saudi-led military coalition has vowed to respond firmly to the attack at the Abha airport.

Saudi Arabia leads a coalition of Arab states backing Yemen's government in its four-year war with the Houthis.

The Houthis earlier on Wednesday claimed they'd launched a cruise missile at the Abha airport.

Colonel Turki al-Maliki, a spokesperson for the coalition, said: "At 02:21 this morning, a hostile rocket landed at the arrival lounge at Abha International Airport, which has thousands of civilian passengers daily from different nationalities". The coalition said the attack proved that the Houthis have acquired "advanced weapons from Iran". Saudi Arabia accused Iran of ordering the attack, a charge that Tehran denies.

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Al-Maliki described the attack as a "terrorist act".

The U.S., meanwhile, blames Iran for a mysterious attack on oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and sent an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the region, along with hundreds more troops to back up the tens of thousands already deployed in the region.

On Monday, Saudi air defences intercepted two Houthi drones that were targeting the southern city of Khamis Mushait, about 815km south-west of the capital Riyadh and near the kingdom's border with Yemen.

"The attacks represent a threat to the kingdom's national security, as well as posing as a threat to regional security", the draft said.

Al-Malki said that the militias claiming full responsibility for this terrorist act constitutes "a clear and full recognition of the responsibility of targeting civilian and civilian objects that are subject to special protection under worldwide humanitarian law".

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