Saudi Arabia condemns Houthi attack that killed two Bahrain soldiers

AFP , Tuesday 26 Sep 2023

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday condemned an attack on its territory that killed two Bahraini military personnel near the border with war-torn Yemen.

Saudi FM
File photo: Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan attends a joint press conference with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin on August 19, 2020. AFP


Bahrain's military said late Monday that one officer and one enlisted soldier had been killed in what it described as a drone attack perpetrated by Yemen's Houthi rebels.

The Saudi foreign ministry voiced its "condemnation and denunciation" of a "treacherous attack on the defence force of the sister Kingdom of Bahrain stationed on the southern border of the kingdom, which resulted in the martyrdom of a number of its brave soldiers and the injury of others," the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

Bahrain has participated in a Saudi-led coalition mobilised in 2015 to topple the Houthis and restore the internationally backed government of Yemen, which the Houthis drove out of the capital Sanaa in 2014.

The ensuing war has left hundreds of thousands dead through direct and indirect causes and displaced millions in what the United Nations calls one of the world's worst humanitarian crises.

The Saudi statement did not explicitly blame the Iran-backed Houthis for the attack, but it renewed the kingdom's call for a halt to weapons exports to them.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, based in Jeddah, did blame a "Houthi drone attack" in a statement on Tuesday, and said: "Such provocative actions are not consistent with the positive efforts made to end the crisis in Yemen."

The Houthis have not commented on the attack.

On Monday, the Houthis' Al-Masirah TV channel reported separately that "four citizens" were wounded in Saudi attacks on Yemeni territory near the border on Monday.

The attack that killed the Bahraini soldiers came as Saudi Arabia is pushing for a lasting ceasefire nearly a year and a half after agreeing to a truce with the Houthis that has largely held despite officially expiring last October.

Hopes for peace were boosted in March when Saudi Arabia struck a surprise rapprochement deal with Iran, which has backed the Houthis.

The following month, Mohammed al-Jaber, the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, travelled to Sanaa to meet with Houthi officials in what he described as a bid to "stabilise" last year's truce.

Last week, Houthi officials completed five days of talks in Riyadh, the first public visit by a Houthi delegation to Saudi Arabia since hostilities broke out.

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