Washington [US], February 11: After a civilian airplane has been damaged in Saudi Arabia in an attack at Abha International Airport by Yemen’s Houthi rebels, the United States on Wednesday (local time) condemned the attack and said that the US will not let the Houthi leadership in Yemen ‘off the hook’ for such attacks.
“We condemn the Houthi attack today that damaged a civilian airliner at the Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia,” said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing.
He further commented that the Houthis continue the desire to prolong the war by attacking Saudi Arabia and endangering civilians, and reiterated the US commitment to support Saudi Arabia and defending it against threats.
“Houthi leadership will find themselves sorely mistaken if they think this administration is going to let off the pressure, is going to let them off the hook for the reprehensible conduct that they continue to undertake,” he added.
He urged Houthis to stop these aggressive attacks and demonstrate a true commitment to constructively engage in peace negotiations.
A drone strike launched by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis on Wednesday left a civilian plane ablaze at a Saudi airport, days after the US moved to delist the rebels as terrorists.
The attack coincided with US Special Envoy Timothy Lenderking’s first trip to the region and his efforts to end the war in Yemen.
Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi rebels since 2014.
Saudi authorities did not immediately report any casualties from the attack, claimed by the Houthis, the latest in a series of militant assaults on the kingdom despite a renewed American push to de-escalate Yemen’s six-year conflict.
However, Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saria said the opposition movement hit warplane airfields at the Abha airport via four drones on Wednesday afternoon and the strike “was accurate.