Pakistan on Sunday expressed concern over a Houthi airstrike on Saudi city Abha and expressed full solidarity with the leadership and the people of the kingdom against any threats to its territorial integrity and Harmain Shareefaen.
In a statement, the Foreign Office (FO) also commended the government and the Royal Defence Force of the kingdom for timely intercepting and destroying the drone before it could cause any serious damage. FO also stated that the news of injuries to Saudis and other expatriates, as well as damage to properties, as a result of falling debris of this drone remains a matter of concern.
Pakistan reiterated full support and solidarity with the leadership, the government and people of Saudi Arabia against any threats to its territorial integrity and Harmain Shareefaen and added that such attacks, targeting the unarmed civilian population, are a clear violation of international law and pose a serious challenge to regional peace and security. Condemning, the attack, Islamabad reiterated that it stands in solidarity with the Saudi government in fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
Saudi Arabia’s air defence systems shot down a drone over the kingdom on Friday, the Saudi-led military coalition said. The kingdom accused Houthi fighters of launching the aircraft and targeting civilians. According to Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV, the drone had been heading toward residential areas in Abha, around 230km north of the border with Yemen.
Some civilians suffered light injuries from debris when the drone was shot down, Saudi state television quoted coalition spokesperson Colonel Turki al-Maliki as saying.
“The United Nations and the international community must unequivocally condemn Houthi terrorist operations both inside and outside Yemen,” said Rajeh Badi, the spokesperson for the Yemen government. “The complacency about, and non-condemnation of, such operations will embolden not only the Houthis but also all other terrorists in the world to continue to threaten international peace and security everywhere.”
“The coalition’s priority is Yemen’s security and stability, and the war was imposed on it by the Houthi coup,” Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir.
The civil war in Yemen has pitted the Houthis against the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi since late 2014. The Saudi-led coalition intervened on the side of Hadi’s government in 2015. The coalition accuses Iran of supplying the Houthis with arms, including drones and missiles. Iran and the Houthis deny the accusations. The Houthis have fired dozens of missiles into Saudi Arabia in the four-year conflict. Most of the missiles have been intercepted by the Saudi military.