With the world’s attention on Afghanistan, another long raging regional conflict has been intensifying. On Tuesday a bomb-laden drone slammed into a commercial airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, wounding eight people, according to Saudi state TV.
Abha airport has now been hit twice in less than 24 hours, after an earlier drone attack out of Yemen left shrapnel strewn across one of the airport’s runways. A civilian aircraft was also reported damage in the assault.
Though there have been no claims of responsibility, the attacks are being widely blamed on Shiite Houthi rebels amid the ongoing civil war in Yemen.
The initial drone attack on the airport was reportedly intercepted just before it reached a civilian terminal. In recent years there’s been Houthi drone and missile attempted attacks that have reached as far into Saudi Arabia as Riyadh.
The attack comes just days after missiles and drones smashed into a key military base in Yemen’s south, killing at least 30 Saudi-backed Yemeni troops and marking one of the deadliest attacks in the country’s yearslong civil war. No one claimed responsibility for the strike, which bore the hallmarks the Iranian-supported rebels.
Typically when fighting intensifies between Houthi rebels and the Saudi coalition, spillover attacks such as against Saudi oil terminals and airports, or against tankers in the Red Sea – tend to increase.