Washington condemns Houthi attack on Abha airport

Blinken, Saudi foreign minister discuss Yemen in phone call.
Thursday 11/02/2021
Outside view of Abha airport, Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
Outside view of Abha airport, Saudi Arabia. (AFP)

WASHINGTON--The US State Department condemned the attack carried out by Yemen’s Houthi movement on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport on Wednesday, urging the Houthis to halt “aggressive acts.”

“We again urge the Houthis to immediately stop these aggressive acts,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

On Wednesday, Yemen’s Houthi militia group said it carried out a drone attack on Saudi’s Abha airport, which the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi forces in Yemen said caused a fire in a civilian aircraft.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also discussed Wednesday diplomatic efforts to end the war in Yemen and bolstering Saudi Arabia’s defences in a call with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, the US State Department said.

Saudi state media and the State Department said the two ministers also discussed the need to find a political solution to the war in Yemen.

The two officials “discussed joint efforts to bolster Saudi defenses against attacks on the Kingdom,” the State Department said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden last week named veteran US diplomat Tim Lenderking as a US special envoy to Yemen in a bid to step up American diplomacy to end the war.

The new administration in Washington has also announced an end to its support for Saudi-led military operations in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia leads a coalition which intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Iran-backed Houthi militias. UN officials are trying to revive peace talks to end the war but the militant group is escalating hostilities to clinch territorial gains on the ground.