SANAA, Yemen

A Houthi drone attack that injured 16 civilians in Saudi Arabia has invited a storm of condemnations in the Arab world.  

The Saudi-led coalition said a drone attack targeted King Abdullah Airport in Jizan province, but was intercepted by Saudi air defenses. Sixteen civilians were injured from the drone shrapnel.  

In a statement, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry condemned the Houthi attack as a “war crime” and a “flagrant violation of international humanitarian law and international norms.”  

Egypt said rebel attacks targeting Saudi airports represented a “blatant threat to the security and stability of the kingdom and to the safety of civilian aviation and freedom of air navigation.”  

The United Arab Emirates called on the international community to support measures aimed at “stopping the Houthi militia from targeting civilian objects.”  

The Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the Houthi attack, saying it “undermines the security of the kingdom and the region.”  

Bahrain also reiterated support to Saudi Arabia “in taking all measures to maintain its security and stability.”  

For his part, Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Nayef Al-Hajraf, condemned the Houthi attack as a “war crime”. He reiterated the GCC’s “solidarity with Saudi Arabia against everything that targets its security, stability and territorial integrity.”  

There was no comment from the Houthi group.  

The Houthis, backed by Iran, regularly announce rocket and drone attacks on Saudi territories, saying they are a reaction to the Saudi-led coalition’s assault on Yemen.  

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.  

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80% or around 30 million people needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.  

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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