KABUL (Pajhwok): A Syrian national was killed and 21 other civilians injured on Sunday in a Yemeni rebel attack on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia, a Riyadh-led coalition said.
The attack on Abha airport, the coalition said, left a McDonald’s outlet at the site littered with shattered glass and damaged 18 vehicles.
The attack comes amid spiralling regional tensions with Iran. The escalation of attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels on Saudi cities threatens a hard-won UN-sponsored ceasefire deal for the Red Sea port city of Hodeida.
“A terrorist attack by the Iran-backed Houthi militia on Abha airport … killed a Syrian resident and wounded 21 civilians,” the coalition said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.
The wounded — from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India and Bangladesh — also included three women and two children who had been taken to a hospital for treatment, the coalition said.
Earlier on Sunday, the rebels’ Al-Masirah TV said they had targeted Abha and Jizan airports in the south of the kingdom with drones. The coalition did not confirm the attack on Jizan airport.
Abha airport authorities said on Twitter that air traffic had resumed and operations were running normally, without saying how long they were disrupted.
On June 12, a rebel missile attack on Abha airport wounded 26 civilians, drawing promises of “stern action” from the coalition.
Human Rights Watch denounced the strike as an apparent “war crime”, urging the Houthis to immediately stop all attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Britain and the US, in a joint statement published on Saudi state media on Sunday, voiced alarm over escalating regional tensions and the “dangers posed by Iranian destabilising activity”.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying sophisticated weapons to Houthi rebels, a charge Tehran denies.
Following recent attacks, Saudi state media have reported an intensification of coalition air raids on rebel positions in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah and the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.