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Saudi airport hit by cruise missile, Yemen's Houthi rebels claim responsibility

Natasha Turak
The attack injured 26 civilians, according to the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis.
Supporters of the Houthi movement shout slogans as they attend a rally to mark the 4th anniversary of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen's war, in Sanaa, Yemen March 26, 2019.

Yemen's rebel Houthi movement has claimed responsibility for a cruise missile strike on Saudi Arabia's Abha Airport, the group's Al-Masirah TV channel reported early Wednesday morning.

The attack injured 26 civilians, according to the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis, and came just a day after Saudi authorities said they intercepted two drones launched by the group. Abha Airport is in southwestern Saudi Arabia, roughly 100 miles from the Yemeni border.

Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran, have launched numerous drone and missile attacks against Saudi Arabia and claim to have carried out drone attacks against the United Arab Emirates (UAE). On May 14, the group claimed drone attacks on Saudi oil pumping stations, an act Riyadh labeled as terrorism. No one was hurt in the attack, which Saudi authorities accused Iran of ordering. Tehran denied any involvement, though weapons analysts have found that the drones and projectiles fired from Yemen are largely Iranian-made.  

The Houthis have been fighting Saudi Arabia in their country since the kingdom launched an offensive against it in early 2015 in defense of Yemen's internationally-recognized government, which the rebels had overthrown. The Houthis currently control a significant portion of Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.

The more than four-year long conflict has been deemed by the UN as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.