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Houthi drone 'hits Saudi arms depot'

May 21, 2019

Iran-aligned Houthi rebels say they have flown a bomb-laden drone into an airport with a military base in Saudi Arabia. This comes amid a recent spike in tensions between the regional rivals.

Houthi rebels
Image: picture-alliance/AP Photo/H.Mohammed

Houthi-run Masirah TV said on Tuesday that the Yemeni rebel group had launched a drone attack on Najran airport in Saudi Arabia which caused a fire to break out at the facility.

The airport is located in the city of Najran on the Saudi-Yemen border, an area that has repeatedly been targeted by Houthi rebels.

Saudi government spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said the Houthis "had tried to target" a civilian site in Najran and there would be a "strong deterrent" to such attacks. 

Regional rivals

Last Tuesday, Riyadh claimed that two oil pumping stations — which maintain the flow rates of a major Saudi oil pipeline — were hit by armed drones, resulting in a fire at one of the stations and a temporary shutting of the oil line as a precaution. 

Masirah TV said after the May 14 pipeline attack that the Iran-linked Houthi group had launched drone attacks on Saudi installations in response to what it called Saudi aggression and a blockade on Yemen. A Saudi-led alliance has been at war with the Houthis and their allies since 2015. Saudi Arabia and Iran are also on opposite sides of the war in Syria.

Read more: In Yemen war, coalition forces rely on German arms and technology

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia claimed that two of its oil tankers were targeted in a "sabotage attack" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is investigating the alleged attack near its waters, which also targeted two other tankers.  

Tehran denied involvement in either operation.

kw/rt (AP, Reuters)

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