Since last month, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels have targeted Saudi Arabia repeatedly with armed drones and missiles, escalating tensions amid efforts by the United Nations and the international community to broker a peace in Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest country.
On Tuesday, the rebel’s Al-Masirah TV said they had launched a “large operation” to target the airport in Abha, roughly 125 miles north of Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia. The Houthis have targeted that airport and others several times since June 12, when an attack injured at least 26 people inside the Abha facility.
The U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthi rebels for the past four years in an effort to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government and prevent Iran’s growing regional influence. The conflict has worsened a humanitarian crisis that has left tens of thousands of people dead and millions on the brink of famine.
The recent drone strikes come amid growing tensions between the United States and Iran in the Persian Gulf region over attacks on oil tankers and other disputes.