Japan's Shinzo Abe Meets With Iranian Leaders Amid Tensions With US

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at the Palazzo Chigi to attend a meeting with Italy's Prime Minister

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe travelled to Tehran on Wednesday to warn that an "accidental conflict" could be sparked amid heightened tensions between Iran and the USA, a message that came hours after Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels attacked a Saudi airport, wounding 26 people. He stated that the injured are of different nationalities, among them three women who are Yemeni, Saudi and Indian, and two Saudi children.

The alliance led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in Yemen in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government that was ousted from power in the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in late 2014.

Eight of those wounded at Abha airport were admitted to hospital, coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said in a statement.

Protesters said "the efforts by Japan's prime minister for mediating between Iran and the USA is useless, and if this is the goal of the trip, it will have no achievement", the Fars news agency reported.

Speaking at Tokyo's Haneda Airport just before departing, Abe acknowledged "rising tensions" in the Middle East and said, "Japan wants to do as much as possible towards peace and stability in the region".

Almalki revealed that the projectile fired by the Houthi militia hit the arrivals hall at Abha International Airport in Asir Province in southwestern Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis earlier on Wednesday claimed they'd launched a cruise missile at the Abha airport.

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Two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia were hit by Houthi drones in May causing minor supply disruptions highlighting an apparent significant leap in the drone capabilities of the Houthis.

As in that strike, the Saudi-led coalition was quick to accuse its regional rival Iran of orchestrating Wednesday's attack, saying that the attack could amount to a war crime.

Mr Trump has been under pressure over relations with Saudi Arabia since the kingdom was accused of murdering dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi previous year.

The conflict is widely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The coalition, which has been fighting the Houthis in Yemen, said it would make a "firm" response. "The most modern American systems could not intercept the missile", he said in comments carried by the group's media centre.

Al-Masirah said it was the second time the Houthis had fired a cruise missile. The coalition has responded by carrying out air strikes on Houthi-held Sanaa.

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