The political body representing Yemeni rebels has issued a statement claiming that Saudi Arabian and UAE airports are  ‘direct targets’ for missile attacks, according to reports in Gulf media. The statement follows an attempted ballistic missile attack of Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport prevented by Saudi forces on November 4, 2017.

"All airports, ports, border crossings and areas of any importance to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will be a direct target of our weapons, which is a legitimate right," the statement says.

The statement follows an attempted missile attack on King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on the night of November 4, 2017. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabian forces intercepted the missile avoiding casualties or even flight disruptions, it is still considered to be the furthest-reaching attack into Saudi territory during the ongoing armed conflict with Houthi rebels 2015.

Following the attack, Saudi Arabia tightened its Yemen blockage, including the grounding of humanitarian flights – a move, condemned by Human Rights Watch that called the Riyadh missile attack a ‘war crime’.

“The Houthis’ launching of an indiscriminate ballistic missile at a predominantly civilian airport is an apparent war crime,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “But this unlawful attack is no justification for Saudi Arabia to exacerbate Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe by further restricting aid and access to the country.”