RIYADH: The Arab coalition said on Monday evening it intercepted and shot down a booby-trapped drone in the southern region launched by the Houthi militia in Yemen, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the drone was launched “in a deliberate and systematic way to target travelers at Abha International Airport, through which thousands of civilian travelers of different nationalities pass through daily.”
Col. Al-Maliki said some shrapnel fell in the airport’s inner compound as a result of the interception. No injuries were reported among travelers or airport staff, but damage was caused to three buses whose windows shattered.
Al-Maliki said coalition forces will continue to implement strict measures to confront these terrorist acts and immoral abuses by the Houthi militia, and to ensure that civilians and civilian objects are protected.
“The terrorist elements responsible for planning and executing out this hostile attack will be held accountable in accordance with international humanitarian law,” Al-Maliki added.
On Sunday, coalition forces intercepted and destroyed a Houthi drone launched toward the southern city of Khamis Mushait.
The Houthi militia has stepped up attempts to target civilian and economic objects in Saudi Arabia, amid mounting international and Arab condemnation.
The Houthis have struck Abha airport a number of times in recent years, killing one person, injuring dozens and on one occasion causing a passenger aircraft to catch fire.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) said it strongly condemned the attack and praised the vigilance and skill of coalition forces.
Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen said the OIC stands in “solidarity with the Kingdom in all the measures it takes to protect its security and stability and the safety of its citizens and residents.”
The UAE and Egypt also strongly condemned the attempted targeting of Abha airport, and said they stood by the Kingdom.
The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said the “continuation of these terrorist attacks by the Houthis reflects its blatant defiance of the international community and its disregard for all international laws.”
The ministry urged the international community to take an immediate and decisive stance to stop these repeated actions targeting vital and civilian installations and the Kingdom’s security, energy supplies and global economic stability.
The Arab Parliament also condemned Houthis’ targeting of Abha International Airport. It said the continued Houthi violations reflect the Iranian agenda, which is aimed to destabilize the security and stability in the region.
Bahrain’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, affirmed its solidarity with the Kingdom. It said it supports all the measures it takes to confront extremist acts aimed at threatening the lives of Saudi Arabia’s citizens and residents.