Condemning the Houthi attack is not enough!
The recent — and ongoing — global condemnation of the recent Houthi missile attack, which was intercepted near the holy city of Makkah, send a comforting message that the international community has finally begun to understand the barbarity of this fanatic militia.
However, it is a shame that it took a missile — which was downed only 65km away from the Kaaba — for the world to understand what the legitimate Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia and the Arab coalition were trying to explain for over a year and a half.
Even if we were to believe what the Houthi militias are claiming in some media reports, that they were not actually aiming at Makkah, but Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport was their target; this is still an unacceptable and preposterous crime that should not go unpunished.
Just a reminder, King Abdulaziz International Airport not only welcomes thousands of civilian visitors and transit passengers every day, but is also the only aerial gateway for millions of Muslim pilgrims who come to perform Haj and Umrah every year.
Either way, if it weren’t for the interception abilities, precision and the high-alert levels of coalition forces, this most recent attack would have definitely been disastrous.
However, just because it wasn’t successful doesn’t mean that it should be swept under the carpet and forgotten.
The fact remains that this was the second time in less than a month that a missile was fired in Makkah's direction.
Personally, I believe that regardless of how strongly-worded the condemnations are, actions will always speak louder than words.
The fact remains that the Houthi militias don’t have the funds or the capabilities of manufacturing these weapons; as such, the matter becomes a question of following the money trail.
With all fingers pointing at Iran, it is only reasonable to expect all countries — which have condemned the attack — to walk the talk and give Tehran an immediate ultimatum of choosing between continuing their support to the Houthis or cutting off diplomatic ties.
After all, when a missile falls near Islam’s holiest site, merely talking the talk is certainly not good enough!
* Faisal J. Abbas is the editor in chief of Arab News. He can be reached on [email protected]