Reuters 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 that wounded 26 people.
The Western-backed, Sunni Muslim alliance that has been battling the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen said the early morning strike was proof of Iranian support for what it called cross-border terrorism.
The coalition 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 in a statement.
The Houthis said on their media channels that they fired a cruise missile at Abha airport, which is about 200 kilometers north of the Yemen border and serves domestic and regional routes.
“Evidence indicates Iran’s Revolutionary Guards supplied the Houthis with the weapon that targeted Abha airport,” Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV quoted the coalition as saying.
There was no immediate Iranian response.
The Saudi civil aviation body told Reuters flight 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 strike on Abha airport could amount to a war crime and it would take “urgent and timely” measures in response.
Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman said on Twitter late on Wednesday that Houthis will be confronted with unwavering resolve.
“Appropriate measures will be taken to confront and deter these terrorist militias,” bin Salman said.