Yemen's Iranian-allied Houthi rebels said yesterday they attacked a Saudi airport and military base with a bomb-laden drone, an assault acknowledged by the kingdom amid rising regional tensions between Iran and Gulf Arab countries allied with the U.S.
The Houthis confirmed a drone attacked Najran airport and said the operation targeted a weapons cache and achieved its goal with "high accuracy," causing a fire at the site. Najran, 840 kilometers southwest of Riyadh, lies on the Saudi-Yemen border and has repeatedly been targeted by the Iran-allied Houthis.
Last week the Houthis launched a coordinated drone attack on a Saudi oil pipeline amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S. Earlier this month, officials in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) alleged that four oil tankers were sabotaged and U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.
Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military coalition that has been pounding Houthi positions in Yemen since 2015, one year after the rebel group overran much of Yemen, including capital Sanaa.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. who is also the former defense minister, and Saudi Arabia's allies launched Operation Decisive Storm in March 2015.
The UAE has largely handled ground operations in the conflict, while the Saudis have bombed the country from the air. Many atrocities have been reported so far, which reveals multiple violations of human rights. The coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE has been using weapons produced in Europe and the U.S. to kill and wound hundreds of civilians in Yemen.