DUBAI (Reuters) – The Saudi-led military coalition vowed to respond firmly to a missile attack by Yemeni Houthi forces on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday which wounded 26 people.
In a statement, it said a projectile hit the arrivals hall at Abha airport, causing material damage. Three women and two children were among the wounded, who were of Saudi, Yemeni and Indian nationalities, it said.
The Houthis said on their media channels that they had fired a cruise missile at Abha airport, which is about 200 km (125 miles) north of the Yemen border and serves domestic and regional routes.
Saudi Arabia’s civil aviation body told Reuters air traffic was currently running normally at the airport. The Houthi media center said the strike destroyed the control tower. The coalition’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Reuters could not independently verify the claim.
The attack follows an armed drone strike last month on two oil-pumping stations in the kingdom that were claimed by the Houthis. Saudi Arabia accused Iran of ordering the attack, a charge that Tehran and the Houthi movement deny.
The coalition said the attack could amount to a war crime. It would take “urgent and timely” measures in response, it said.
“This attack also proves this terrorist militia’s acquisition of new special weapons; the continuation of the Iranian regime’s support and practice of cross-border terrorism...,” the coalition’s English-language statement said.
There was no immediate Iranian response.
On Tuesday, a Houthi military spokesman threatened that the group would target every airport in Saudi Arabia and that the coming days would reveal “big surprises”.
Pakistan condemns Houthi ballistic missile fire towards Makkah
Earlier on May 21, Pakistan condemned the firing
of two ballistic missiles by Yemeni Houthis towards Makkah which were intercepted by Saudi Arabia.
In a statement, the Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan reaffirms its solidarity with Saudi Arabia and reiterates its support against any threat to the security of the Kingdom.
The Foreign Office hit out at the aggression and praised the vigilant Saudi defence forces for intercepting the missiles.
“Islamabad reaffirms its solidarity with Saudi Arabia and reiterates its support against any threat to the security of the Kingdom,” the communique read.