Published: Wed, June 12, 2019

Houthi missile attack on Saudi airport wounds 26: Saudi-led coalition

Houthi missile attack on Saudi airport wounds 26: Saudi-led coalition

The Houthi militias claimed through their media full responsibility for the terrorist attack saying a cruise missile was used. The coalition said the attack proved that the Houthis have acquired "advanced weapons from Iran".

The coalition said the attack could amount to a war crime.

Two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia were hit by Houthi drones in May causing minor supply disruptions highlighting an apparent significant leap in the drone capabilities of the Houthis.

The attack was carried out at 2am on Wednesday morning, Col Al Malki said.

"I know that the prime minister and Japan have a very good relationship with Iran, so we'll see what happens", said Trump. Tensions have reached boiling point a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in return for lifting sanctions.

A Houthi military spokesman on Tuesday threatened that the group would target every airport in Saudi Arabia and that the coming days would reveal "big surprises".

The Houthis have previously targeted Saudi cities with drones and missiles, most of which have been intercepted. In March 2018 an Egyptian was killed in Riyadh by missile shrapnel.

"Mr. Abe can be a great mediator to facilitate that (easing of oil sanctions).Japan has always respected Iran and Mr. Abe can play a very constructive role to calm the ongoing tension that can harm the (Middle East) region", said another Iranian official, who asked not to be named.

The Houthi group last month stepped up its attacks following a lull previous year ahead of UN-led peace efforts.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

Japan had relied heavily on Iranian oil, but has cut imports to comply with US sanctions.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's trip to Tehran represents the highest-level effort yet to de-escalate tensions between the United States and Iran as the country appears poised to break the 2015 nuclear deal it struck with world powers that America earlier abandoned.

A government official said Abe will not be in Tehran to "mediate between Iran and the U.S." and that "easing tensions" was the prime goal.

The escalation in violence could threaten a fragile United Nations -led peace initiative in Yemen's main port city of Hodeidah, which handles the bulk of the impoverished country's commercial and aid imports and is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.

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