CHICAGO: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken strongly condemned a Houthi drone strike on Tuesday against Saudi Arabia and urged the Iranian-backed militants to “uphold” the ceasefire and engage in peace negotiations.
According to reports, the attack on the Abha International Airport in the Asir region left eight wounded as a civilian aircraft was also damaged.
Blinken said the Houthi strikes endangered not only Saudi civilians and military personnel, but also the 70,000 American citizens living and working in the Kingdom. He blamed the Houthis for prolonging the bloody conflict in Yemen.
“The US strongly condemns the recent Houthi attack against Saudi Arabia that struck the civilian airport in Abha, wounding eight civilians and damaging a commercial airliner,” Blinken said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Since the beginning of the year, Saudi Arabia has endured more than 240 attacks from the Houthis, who have endangered the Saudi people alongside more than 70,000 U.S. citizens residing in Saudi Arabia.”
Blinken said the Houthis have also “intensified their attacks inside of Yemen” in recent weeks, particularly their offensive on Marib.
“This costly, stalemated offensive is exacerbating Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. The Houthi attacks are perpetuating the conflict, prolonging the suffering of the Yemeni people, and jeopardizing peace efforts at a critical moment,” Blinken said.
Blinken ended his statement by urging the rebels to consider an end to the conflict.
“We again call on the Houthis to uphold a ceasefire and engage in negotiations under UN auspices,” he said.