On Saturday, September 28, Houthi rebels claimed to have carried out an attack near the border with the southwestern province of Najran. In a televised address, a spokesman for the rebels said that "thousands" of Saudi troops were killed or captured in the operation. A large cache of weaponry, including armored vehicles, was also reportedly seized by the rebels. There was no immediate confirmation from Saudi authorities as of Saturday evening (local time).
Similar Houthi attacks are possible over the coming days and weeks. A heightened security presence is to be expected in Najran over the near term.
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. On September 14, Houthi rebels allegedly launched drone attacks on major oil facilities in Buqayq (Eastern Province) and at the Khurais oil field, causing fires and significant damage. Saudi officials claimed the weapons used in the attacks were made in Iran amid heightened tensions between the regional rivals.
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 in Saudi Arabia are advised to monitor developments 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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