Houthi rebels claim drone attack
by Harvest Prude
Posted 5/21/19, 11:30 am
Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for a drone attack on the airport and military base in Najran, Saudi Arabia, just days after targeting a Saudi oil facility. Saudi authorities said a bomb-laden drone attacked the base but did not clarify the extent of the damages or whether there were any deaths or injuries. Saudi spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki said the kingdom will act to deter such attacks and called the Houthis the “terrorist militias of Iran.” Saudi Arabian forces have warred with Houthi rebels since they removed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from power in 2015, sparking a bloody civil war.
Tensions between the United States and Iran have also spiked in recent weeks, with the U.S. deployment of an aircraft carrier and a bomber task force to the region and the removal of nonessential diplomatic staff from Iraq. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other Trump administration officials are scheduled to brief congressional lawmakers behind closed doors on Tuesday about U.S. intelligence on Iranian threats. House Democrats are holding a closed-door hearing with former CIA Director John Brennan and former State Department official Wendy Sherman Tuesday afternoon on the administration’s handling of Iran. Sherman helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal under the Obama administration. Brennan, an outspoken Trump critic, departed from the CIA in 2017.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told CNN that his country is not interested in escalating the situation in the region but will not negotiate unless the Trump administration ends its “economic warfare.” Zarif also criticized the United States for sending a bomber task force to the area, warning that the White House was “playing a very, very dangerous game.”
Meanwhile, two Iranian news agencies reported Monday that the country has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium and the production could soon exceed restrictions established by the 2015 nuclear agreement. The United States withdrew from the pact one year ago.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.