On 31 August 2021, eight people were wounded and a commercial aircraft was damaged by shrapnel after Saudi forces intercepted an explosive drone targeting Abha International Airport (OEAB/AHB), located in the southwestern city of Abha near the border with Yemen. Inbound and outbound flights are temporarily suspended. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities have attributed it to the Houthi rebel group in Yemen, which has previously conducted drone attacks against Abha International Airport. Earlier the same day, Saudi Arabia’s Defense Ministry stated that its military intercepted an explosive-laden drone targeting the same facility.

Analyst Comment: The Houthis frequently target Abha International Airport with drones and/or rockets due to its proximity to the border with Yemen. Most projectiles are intercepted by air defense systems, but some in the past have managed to hit the facility. However, this is the first attack since at least mid-June 2021.