Yesterday, Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched a drone attack on the Abha airport in Saudi Arabia for the second time in less than two weeks. Initial reports suggest one person was killed and twenty-one were wounded. These Iranian-backed attacks are unacceptable, and all the more reprehensible given that they targeted innocent civilians. They also put Americans living, working, and transiting through Saudi Arabia at risk.
We call on the Iran-backed Houthis to end these reckless and provocative attacks on behalf of the Iranian regime. The Houthis should engage constructively in the UN-led political process to end the conflict and adhere to the commitments they made in Sweden.
Some want to portray the Yemen conflict as an isolated civil war, without a clear aggressor. It is neither. It is spreading conflict and humanitarian disaster that was conceived of and perpetuated by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The regime has spent years funneling cash, weapons, and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps support to the Houthis. With every attack conducted by an Iranian proxy, the regime tacks another day onto its forty-year track record of spreading death and chaos in the region, and beyond.
I just had productive meetings with Saudi Arabia’s leaders. I confirmed that the United States will continue to stand with all of our allies and partners in the region.
We will continue to pursue peace and stability in Middle East. And we will continue our pressure campaign until Iran stops its torrent of violence and meets diplomacy with diplomacy.