RIYADH (Dispatches) -- The
Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen said several people were injured when a bomb-laden drone targeted Abha airport in Saudi Arabia’s southwest Tuesday.
In a statement carried by Al-Ekhbariya television channel, the kingdom said following an earlier drone strike, “a second drone attempting to attack Abha International Airport was intercepted and shot down.”
It said eight people had sustained injuries and a “civilian” plane had also been damaged.
It added that flights had been temporarily halted “to ensure the safety of incoming and departing aircraft, as well as civilians at the airport”.
No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. But Saudi Arabia blamed it on the Yemeni Ansarullah movement.
According to the statement, the attack was the second to target the airport in the last 24 hours.
Military positions in the airport have been a frequent target of Yemeni drones over the past months. Yemen’s army and Popular Committees regularly target positions inside Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the Saudi-led aggression on their country.
Saudi Arabia and some of its regional allies, backed by the U.S. and other Western powers, have been waging a devastating war on Yemen since March 2015 with the goal of reinstalling a Riyadh-friendly regime that was toppled in a popular uprising.
The Saudi-led war has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine and widespread disease, killed tens of thousands of innocent people, and destroyed the impoverished state’s infrastructure.
The United Nations has described the situation in Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Yemen’s allied defense forces are reportedly on the verge of recapturing Ma’rib, the capital of a hugely strategic west-central Yemeni province of the same name.
The Yemeni army and Popular Committees were reported on Tuesday to have advanced as far as the city’s “government buildings.”
The advancements were made possible, despite heavy Saudi bombardment of the flashpoints in the city from above, Yemen Press Agency reported. It came after the forces successfully pushed back against the kingdom’s allies there, namely Riyadh-backed militants and Al-Qaeda terrorists, the outlet added.
The terrorists, it added, have been forced to abandon their positions and beat a retreat towards the city’s administrative buildings.
The Yemeni forces “are not far from” reestablishing Sana’a’s sovereignty over the city, Yemeni media sources noted.
The two sides are now engaged in intense confrontation “using heavy weaponry,” local sources noted.
Locals said the Saudi-led forces had suffered considerable human and material losses during the developments. “A large number” of the enemy’s military commanders were either killed or injured during the advances, they announced.
Given its strategic location, the province’s liberation is expected to open the floodgates of further victories for the Yemenis.
According to Yemen’s Ambassador to Tehran, Ibrahim al-Deilami, the war in Ma’rib is currently underway on “more than 50 fronts.”
The Yemeni forces have managed to fully liberate as many as nine of the province’s 14 districts so far.