Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Thursday night claimed the responsibility for attacking a Saudi airbase with a ballistic missile. Yahya Sarea, spokesperson of the Houthi military, in a statement aired by the Houthi-run al-Masirah television, said that its forces hit the missile that hit the King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushait city ‘accurately’. It also came a day after the rebels claimed a bomb-laden drone attack on Saudi Abha Airport that caused a fire in a passenger plane.
Yemen has been engulfed in chaos since a civil war began in late 2014 when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the control of several northern provinces and even forces the globally-recognised government headed by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa. Later in 2015, the Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in the Yemeni conflict to back Hadi’s government.
"A ballistic missile fired by our forces hit King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushait city. It hit the target accurately," said Yahya Sarea.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden’s administration warned Yemen’s Houthi rebels against the ongoing attacks against civilians just a couple of days after moving to delist the group from a terrorism blacklist. The US State Department had called on the group to immediately stop attacking civilians and even other military operations in Yemen. This came just 48 hours after Biden administration notified the Congress that it would remove the Houthis from its list of “foreign terrorist organisations”.
“As the president is taking steps to end the war in Yemen and Saudi Arabia has endorsed a negotiated settlement, the United States is deeply troubled by continued Houthi attacks,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement. “We call on the Houthis to immediately cease attacks impacting civilian areas inside Saudi Arabia and to halt any new military offensives inside Yemen, which only bring more suffering to the Yemeni people.”
“We urge the Houthis to refrain from destabilizing actions and demonstrate their commitment to constructively engage in U.N. Special Envoy Griffiths’ efforts to achieve peace...The time is now to find an end to this conflict,” he added