Yemen Update: June 17-June 26

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Between June 17-26, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) reported six Houthi-launched UAV attacks and one cruise missile strike on its territory. The Qasef-2K drone attack on June 23 was the only one in this period that resulted in casualties.

There has been a significant increase in reported missile and UAV activity over the past several weeks. This trend follows rising tensions between the United States and Iran, and suggests some Iranian influence over Houthi military actions. Below is a summary of these reported events.

June 17

Houthi militants reportedly used an explosive-laden UAV to target Abha International Airport in southern Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia did not confirm the attack.

Yemen’s Houthis launch drone attacks toward Saudi Abha airport: Al Masirah TV, Reuters
Yemen’s Houthis claim new attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport, Al Jazeera

June 18

KSA Air Defense forces intercepted two explosives-laden UAVs launched by Houthi militants. One UAV targeted Abha, while the second was intercepted over Yemeni air space.

Saudi forces intercept two more Houthi drones from Yemen, The National
The Latest: Saudi Arabia say it intercepted 2 Houthi drones, Associated Press

June 20 

Houthi militants reportedly fired a cruise missile targeting the southeastern Saudi city of Jizan. Houthi media says the missile successfully hit a Saudi power plant. The Arab Coalition, however, says the “projectile” was aimed at a desalination plant in Al Shuqaiq city. The Coalition said the attack did not result in casualties or damage to the facility, but some reports suggest resulting power outages.

Saudi Plant Struck by Missile, Apparently From Yemen, The Wall Street Journal
Yemen’s Houthi rebels hit Saudi facility with ‘cruise missile’, Al Jazeera

June 23

Houthi militants used an explosive-laden UAV to target Abha International Airport in southern Saudi Arabia. The drone, reportedly a Qasef-2K, struck the airport parking lot, killing one person and wounding at least seven (reports list 7, 21, and 26 injured). Cars and property in the vicinity were also damaged. Houthi media also reported an attack on Jizan, but KSA did not confirm this event.

Yemen’s Houthis hit Saudi airport, killing one, wounding 21: Saudi-led coalition, Reuters
Syrian killed, seven civilians wounded in Houthi terrorist attack on Abha Airport, Emirates News Agency

June 25

KSA Air Defense Forces intercepted a Houthi-launched UAV targeting the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait.

Command of the Joint Forces of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces intercept, down hostile drone launched by the Houthi terrorist militia towards residential area in Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Press Agency
The Latest: Saudi Arabia says it shot down Yemen drone, Associated Press

June 26

Coalition Air Defense Forces intercepted a Houthi-launched UAV in Yemeni airspace. The drone was launched from northern Sana’a province.

Command of the Joint Forces of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Coalition Air Forces intercept, down – in Yemeni airspace – Houthi terrorist militia’s drone launched towards kingdom, Saudi Press Agency
Saudi-led coalition intercepted a Houthi drone launched toward the kingdom: SPA, Reuters

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Shaan Shaikh, "Yemen Update: June 17-June 26," Missile Threat, Center for Strategic and International Studies, June 27, 2019, last modified June 27, 2019,