DUBAI - Yemen’s Huthi rebels on Wednesday targeted Abha International Airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, causing a civilian plane on the tarmac to catch fire, the kingdom's state television reported.
The state-owned Al-Ekhbariya TV said that firefighters have brought the blaze under control. The initial reports offered no word on any possible casualties from the attack. Saudi officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment Wednesday.
In November 2017, the Huthis targeted Riyadh’s international airport in an attack. Saudi officials later blamed Iran for providing the missile to the Huthis used in that and other attacks on the kingdom amid its grinding, years-long war against the rebels. Tehran long has denied providing arms to the Huthis, though evidence and United Nations expert reports show weapons linking back to Iran.
The Saudi-led military coalition did not say what type of weapon was used in Wednesday’s attack, which represented the first one to reportedly damaged a civilian aircraft at the facility. Flight-tracking websites showed delayed and cancelled flights scheduled to either take off or land at the airport.
The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said in a statement that it will “hold the militia accountable in accordance with international humanitarian law,” referring to the Huthis.
There was no announcement from the Huthis on the attack. Military spokesmen for the group did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.
Saudi Arabia has been at war with the Huthis in Yemen for nearly six years, a grinding conflict that has spawned the world's worst humanitarian disaster.