A SaudiGulf Airlines Airbus A320-200 airplane is seen at Saudi Arabia's Abha airport, after it was attacked by Yemen's Houthi group in Abha, Saudi Arabia June 13, 2019 (REUTERS/Faisal al Nasser)

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen announced a second drone attack, on Tuesday, targeting Abha International Airport in the southwest of the Kingdom, injuring eight and causing damage to a civilian plane.

And the state-run Al-Ekhbariya channel quoted the Saudi-led coalition in neighboring Yemen as announcing “the interception and shooting down of a second booby-trapped plane that tried to attack Abha airport,” explaining that “initial information indicates that there were 8 casualties and a civilian plane was damaged.”


Hours before this attack, a similar attack occurred that did not cause casualties, but rather obstructed the movement of navigation, according to the official media. The coalition said that it had intercepted a booby-trapped drone launched by the Houthis towards Abha airport, which caused a short halt to the navigation movement, but no casualties.

And the Saudi Press Agency reported that the coalition had announced, early Tuesday morning, the interception and shooting down of the plane, noting that “the scattering of shrapnel as a result of the interception in the vicinity of the airport, without injuries or damage.”

The coalition considered “the Houthi militia’s attempt to attack Abha airport in a deliberate manner a war crime.”

The state-run Al-Ekhbariya channel said that “the plane’s shrapnel, after its interception, hit some parts of the airport towards the runway.” “At the beginning of the injury, there was a pause (for flights) to ensure the safety of incoming and departing aircraft, as well as civilians inside the airport,” she added.

The station published a video report from inside the airport with the resumption of international traffic after that.

Several regions in Saudi Arabia are constantly subjected to ballistic missile attacks and booby-trapped drones launched from Yemen towards their airports and oil facilities.

And this August, the frequency of drone attacks launched by the Houthi rebels increased, especially towards the city of Khamis Mushait in the southwest of the country.

Saudi Arabia has led a military coalition since 2015 in support of the Yemeni government, which has been locked in a bloody conflict against the Houthis since they seized control of Sanaa and other areas in 2014.

The conflict resulted in the killing of tens of thousands of people, including many civilians, according to several humanitarian organizations.

While the United Nations and Washington are pressing for an end to the war, the Houthis are demanding the reopening of Sanaa airport, which has been closed under a Saudi blockade since 2016, before any ceasefire or negotiations.

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