On February 10, Abha International Airport in the southern Saudi province of ‘Asir was attacked by the Houthis (Ansar Allah).
In a statement, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Houthis, said two Samad-3 and two Qasef-2K suicide drones were launched from Yemen at “military aircraft” parked in Abha International Airport.
The Samad-3, which has a range of more than 1,500 km, was presented by the Houthis in 2019. On the other hand, the Qasef, a version of the Iranian Ababil-2, has been in service since late 2016. Both drones are usually armed with high-explosive fragmentation, HE-FRAG, warheads.
Brig. Gen. Sari said Saudi Arabia was repeatedly warned against using civilian airports for military purposes. However, it choose to continue doing so.
“Our operations will continue as long as the aggression and siege are ongoing,” the spokesman said.
The Saudi-led coalition acknowledged that Abha International Airport was hit. The coalition said a civilian airliner was damaged in the attack.
Photos showing a damaged Airbus A320-214 plane of Flyadeal, a local Saudi carrier, in Abha International Airport were shared on Saudi social media accounts.
— Islamic World Update (@islamicworldupd) February 10, 2021
Earlier today, the Saudi-led coalition announced that its air-defense means had intercepted two drones launched by the Houthis from Yemen. It’s unclear yet if the drones were among the four launched at Abha.
The Saudi-led coalition vowed to hold the Houthis accountable. Usually, the coalition responds to such attacks by the Houthis with a series of intense airstrikes on the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.
- The Liaison and Coordination Officers’ Operations Room (loyal to Ansar Allah) reported 179 ceasefire violations in al-Hudaydah during the past 24 hours.
- On February 9, Saudi-led coalition warplanes conducted an airstrike on the Durayhimi area.
- On February 9, Saudi-led coalition warplanes conducted 4 airstrikes on the Sarwah area.
- On February 9, Ansar Allah captured Kufil mountain east of Sarwah from the Saudi-led forces.
A harsh response by the Saudi-led coalition will likely lead to more escalation in Yemen. This would further jeopardize the already slow intra Yemeni talks.
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