Saudi air defense systems reportedly intercepted three ballistic missiles targeting Najran Regional Airport (EAM) on Tuesday, September 3. Houthi militants in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that the strikes hit military targets at the airport. The group also claimed that the airport is out of service; however, the reports have not been independently verified. Saudi defense officials issued a contradictory statement, saying that the missiles were successfully intercepted.
Similar Houthi attacks targeting Saudi infrastructure and facilities, including airports, are possible over the coming weeks.
Houthi rebels have claimed several missile attacks targeting Saudi facilities and infrastructure since late May 2019. The group has targeted airports in Abha, Jizan, and Najran. A Houthi-claimed missile attack wounded 26 people at the arrivals hall at Abha International Airport (AHB) on June 12. Material damage was also reported.
Yemen is engaged in a complex and deadly conflict, ongoing since Houthi rebels entered into a civil war with the Yemeni government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, in 2015. The Saudi-led coalition has carried out thousands of airstrikes in Yemen since its intervention began. Hundreds of Yemeni civilians have been killed in the strikes, which have hit schools, hospitals, and markets, in addition to Houthi militant positions and personnel. In total, more than 10,000 Yemenis have died in the fighting and some 3 million have been displaced.
Individuals flying via EAM are advised to monitor developments, confirm flight reservations, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments. Seek shelter immediately in the event of a missile attack.
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