The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen targeted areas around the capital Sanaa, sources say, a day after a Houthi missile attack on an airport in southern Saudi Arabia.

In this August 9, 2016 photo, smoke rises after Saudi-led air strikes hit a food factory in Sanaa, Yemen.
In this August 9, 2016 photo, smoke rises after Saudi-led air strikes hit a food factory in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)

Planes from the Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen bombed areas around the capital Sanaa on Thursday, residents and the Houthi-run Al Masirah TV said.

On Wednesday, the coalition vowed to respond firmly to a Houthi missile attack on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia that wounded 26 people.

Masirah said there had been raids on three sites, including military targets belonging to Houthi forces, on the outskirts of Sanaa.

Residents told Reuters the strikes had targeted military camps west and north of the city.

There was no immediate confirmation from the coalition about the strikes.

Saudi warns Iran over Yemeni rebel airport attack

Riyadh accused Tehran on Thursday of ordering a Yemeni rebel missile strike at a Saudi airport and warned of "grave consequences".

"The continuation of the Iranian regime’s aggression and reckless escalation, whether directly or through its militias, will result in grave consequences," deputy defence minister Prince Khaled bin Salman tweeted.

"We will confront the Houthi militia's crimes with unwavering resolve," said Prince Khaled, a son of King Salman.

"Their targeting of a civilian airport exposes to the world the recklessness of Iran's escalation and the danger it poses to regional security and stability."

Tehran has always denied providing more than moral support to the rebels.

Riyadh has accused the rebels of being Iranian proxies ever since it led its allies in launching a military intervention against them in March 2015.

"The Iranian regime is the only party in the region that has been pursuing reckless escalation, through the use of ballistic missiles and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) to directly target civilian installations and innocent civilians," Prince Khaled said.

"For 40 years, the Iranian regime has been spreading chaos, death and destruction, by sponsoring and financing terrorist organisations including the Houthis."

Rebel attacks

There has been a spate of rebel attacks on Saudi targets in recent weeks which have coincided with reports of intensified coalition strikes on rebel strongholds on the other side of the border.

The rebels say that missile and drone strikes against Saudi Arabia are one of few ways that they can retaliate against more than for years of bombing by the Saudi-led coalition which has exacted a heavy civilian death toll in Yemen.

Since 2015, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say.

It has triggered what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 24.1 million Yemenis – more than two-thirds of the population – in need of aid.

Concern over the civilian toll from the Saudi-led air war has triggered a fierce battle over US arms sales to the kingdom that has pitted President Donald Trump's administration against both houses of Congress. 

The war in Yemen has ravaged the country, pushing it to the brink of starvation as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia back Yemen's Hadi administration in a battle against Houthi rebels.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies