The United States strongly condemned the recent Houthi attacks against Saudi Arabia. On August 31, a drone struck the civilian airport in Abha, wounding eight civilians and damaging a commercial airliner. On September 4, a Houthi missile attack struck Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province, injuring two children and damaging several homes.
In a written statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken noted that since the beginning of 2021, “Saudi Arabia has endured more than 240 attacks from the Houthis, who have endangered the Saudi people alongside more than 70,000 U.S. citizens residing in Saudi Arabia.”
“The Houthis have also intensified their attacks inside Yemen, particularly their offensive on Marib,” Secretary Blinken said. On August 29, a drone and missile attack on Al-Anad airbase in Yemen’s Lahj governorate killed at least 30 people. The U.S. Mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called the attack “egregious,” adding it threatened “lives, infrastructure and prospects for peace and stability in Yemen.”
The war in Yemen began in 2014 when the Houthis seized the capital, Sana’a, from the internationally recognized government and drove Yemen’s president into exile. The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing forces of the ousted, internationally recognized, legitimate Yemeni government. Over the years, at least 233,000 people have been killed, including 131,000 from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services, and infrastructure, according to UN estimates. The conflict has led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters, with 5 million people in Yemen on the brink of starvation and more than 20 million in need of humanitarian aid.
In March 2021, Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Yemen Government expressed their readiness to agree to a nation-wide ceasefire in Yemen, but the proposal was rejected by the Houthis.
The Biden-Harris Administration has been pushing for a diplomatic resolution to the conflict. In his statement, Secretary of State Blinken said the Houthis’ attacks “are perpetuating the conflict, prolonging the suffering of the Yemeni people, and jeopardizing peace efforts at a critical moment. We call on the Houthis,” he wrote, “to uphold a ceasefire and engage in negotiations under UN auspices.”