The Saudi-led Arab Coalition forces announced they carried a series of air raids aiming at the military targets at Yemen’s Sanaa International Airport. Those targets are used by the Houthi group to launch drone and missile strikes towards the Saudi territory, according to a coalition statement.
Taking place on last two days, the coalition’s airstrikes successfully hit more than six targets, including those which are used to train drone personnel, provide shelter for trainers and trainees, and stockpile drones, the statement added.
The state-run Saudi media reported that civilians had been asked to evacuate the airport before the operation.
The Arab Coalition’s military spokesperson Brigadier General Turki Al Maliki stated that the strikes did not undermine the airport’s operational capacity, airspace management, air traffic, or ground handling operations.
Emphasizing that the operation carried per international law, Maliki said, “the operation comes in response to threats and the use of the airport’s facilities to launch cross-border attacks.”
Yet, the Houthi-run media body, Saba, reported that the airstrikes led to the suspension of the airport’s operations, referring to the Houthi management’s aviation authority chief.
Meanwhile, the UN World Food Programme spokesperson issued a statement indicating that a UN team arrived at the airport to confirm the scope of any damage.
The airport has been closed for civil flights since 2015. Yet, the UN is allowed to make flights there.
During the seven-year-long Yemen conflict, which caused the death of thousands and displacement of millions, the Iranian-backed Houthi group has carried airstrikes via drones and ballistic missiles towards the Saudi territory. Last Sunday, the coalition announced that a bomb-laden drone, targeting Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Airport in Jizan, was intercepted.