Eight staff members of the Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia were injured when the Arab Coalition intercepted a drone that was targeting the airport on Tuesday, the coalition’s spokesman Brigadier General Turki al-Maliki said.
The attempted attack came just hours after the Iran-backed Houthi militia had launched an explosive drone towards the airport.
“At (0906) Tuesday (31 August 2021), a second attempt to target traveling civilians and staff at Abha International Airport by the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia using a bomb-laden drone was thwarted,” al-Maliki said in a statement.
Shrapnel, or fragments of the drone, scattered around the premises of the airport when it was destroyed by the coalition, injuring the staff members.
A Bangladeshi worker is in critical condition as a result, while two Indians and another Bangladeshi worker were in moderate risk, the spokesman said.
Another Bangladeshi worker, one Nepali worker, an Indian worker, and a Saudi national sustained minor injuries, he added.
A 320 commercial aircraft was also damaged in the attack, al-Maliki said.
“This hostile, atrocious attempt is the second one to target Abha International Airport and its multinational traveling civilians today in a deliberate, systematic manner. These acts confirm the hostile nature of the militia, and its transgressions against the customary International Humanitarian Law, under which Abha International Airport is considered a Civilian Object protected by the international humanitarian law,” the spokesman added.
The Houthis regularly launch attacks on Saudi Arabia and Yemeni areas under the control of the internationally-recognized government. Iran backs the group in its fight against the Yemeni Armed Forces and supplies the Houthis with weapons, drones, and military training as well.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s defense forces intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia towards Jazan.
The Arab Coalition had said that air defense forces “thwarted the militias’ futile attempts” to target the Kingdom.