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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Qatar condemns Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport


A drone attack on Abha airport in Saudi Arabia injured eight people.

Qatar has voiced its strong condemnation and denunciation of two attacks attempts on Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) statement said.

The statement described the targeting of civilian installations and vital facilities as “an act of sabotage that violates all international norms and laws.”

MoFA reiterated Qatar’s firm position in rejecting violence, criminal and sabotage acts, regardless of motive and reason.

At least eight people were wounded and a civilian aircraft was damaged in a drone attack on the neighbouring kingdom’s Abha airport, according to the Saudi-led coalition battling Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Among those injured were one Saudi national, a Nepalese national, three people from India and three from Bangladesh, one of which was reported to be in critical condition.

Flights had been temporarily halted “to ensure the safety of incoming and departing aircraft, as well as civilians at the airport”.

“A second drone attempting to attack Abha International Airport was intercepted and shot down,” said the the coalition in a statement on Saudi Arabia’s official Al-Ekhbariya television channel.

It also noted a booby-trapped drone was intercepted by the coalition earlier on Tuesday, the first of such attack attempts.

The coalition added that the second attack on the airport “constitutes a war crime,” after it intercepted the first attack.

In response, the coalition launched a military operation to target a launchpad used in the Yemeni capital which it said was used in the attack on the airport. It said that it had “destroyed the terrorist elements responsible for the attack”.

Ongoing conflict

In 2014, the Houthis overran all government institutions in Sanaa and gained control of the city, forcing the internationally-recognised government to flee to Aden.

The conflict was exacerbated in 2015 after a Saudi Arabia-led military coalition intervened to reinstate the government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

However, six years on, at least 233,000 Yemenis have been killed, among them 131,000 who died as a result of malnutrition, lack of healthcare and medicine. Both the Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition have been criticised by the international community for engaging in war-crimes throughout the conflict.

It is estimated that more than 16 million people will go hungry this year due to the dire conditions that have been imposed on the country due to the ongoing war.

It is also estimated that 400,000 Yemeni children below the age of five could die from acute malnutrition.

“Any ceasefire, any peace plan that includes lifting all restrictions against humanitarian efforts and ensures access for aid workers to reach civilians anywhere in Yemen, will benefit Yemenis,” Afrah Nasser, Yemen Researcher at Human Rights Watch [HRW] told Doha News in March.

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