Yemeni Huthi Drone Attack On Saudi Airport Sets Plane Ablaze

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The assault left a civilian aircraft ablaze at a Saudi airport. (Representational)

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia:

A drone strike launched by Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthis on Wednesday left a civilian aircraft ablaze at a Saudi airport, drawing warnings from the United States days after it moved to delist the rebels as terrorists.

Saudi authorities didn’t instantly report any casualties from the assault, claimed by the Huthis, the newest in a collection of insurgent assaults on the dominion regardless of a renewed American push to de-escalate Yemen’s six-year battle.

Pictures launched by state media confirmed a blackened gash on the facet of a passenger jet after the assault, which occurred on the identical day the brand new US particular envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking met Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Riyadh for talks.

The United States condemned the assault and known as on the Huthis to “constructively engage” in President Joe Biden’s effort to jumpstart peace negotiations.

“There is no military solution to the war in Yemen. We again urge the Huthis to immediately stop these aggressive acts,” State Department spokesman Ned Price informed reporters in Washington.

Saudi state media launched pictures of what it mentioned was wreckage from a drone, apparently displaying engine components and aerial fins scattered throughout the tarmac of the airport.

“A cowardly criminal terrorist attack launched against Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia by the Huthi militia,” state-run Al-Ekhbariya tv quoted the Riyadh-led army coalition battling the rebels as saying.

“A fire that engulfed a passenger plane due to the Huthi attack on Abha Airport is under control,” it added.

The coalition didn’t say how the assault was carried out, however earlier within the day reported that it had intercepted two “booby trapped” drones within the south.

The Shiite Huthis, who management a lot of northern Yemen, mentioned that they had struck Abha airport with 4 drones.

Yahya Sarie, spokesman for the Huthis’ armed wing, claimed the airport was used to launch assaults on Yemen.

But Yemen’s data minister, Moammar al-Eryani, denounced the assault as a “full-fledged war crime” because it endangered the lives of “thousands of civilian travellers of various nationalities”.

Abha’s worldwide airport, which has been struck by the rebels earlier than, is simply over 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Saudi Arabia’s southern border with Yemen.

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– ‘Catastrophe’ in Yemen –

The rebels seem like stepping up assaults on the dominion and on Riyadh-backed Yemeni forces after the United States moved final week to elevate a short-lived designation of the Huthis as a terrorist group.

The Huthis have resumed an offensive to grab the Yemeni authorities’s final northern stronghold of Marib, based on a authorities supply, with dozens of casualties on either side.

Price, the State Department spokesman, additionally known as on the insurgents to halt the offensive however mentioned the Biden administration would go forward and elevate the terrorist designation.

He defended the transfer as a manner to enhance humanitarian entry and mentioned it has “absolutely nothing to do with the reprehensible conduct of the Huthis.”

Humanitarian teams have been deeply against the blacklisting within the remaining days of Donald Trump’s administration, saying it jeopardised their operations in a rustic the place the vast majority of folks depend on support and the place they don’t have any alternative however to take care of the Huthis.

Biden has additionally halted assist to Saudi offensive operations in Yemen’s struggle, which he known as a “catastrophe” which “has to end”.

Lenderking, the veteran US diplomat appointed to spice up efforts to finish the struggle, in his assembly with Prince Faisal mentioned a “comprehensive political solution” to the battle, state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

Biden mentioned Lenderking would assist a UN push for a ceasefire and revive talks between the Huthis and the federal government.

Saudi Arabia, which entered the Yemen battle in 2015 to bolster the internationally recognised authorities, has repeatedly been focused with cross-border assaults.

Last month, it mentioned it had intercepted and destroyed a “hostile air target” heading in direction of Riyadh.

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