Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen cities kill 16 – Houthis

Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen cities kill 16 - Houthis

SANAA (Reuters) – Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition bombed targets in Yemen on Friday, residents said, & sources in the country's dominant Houthi militia reported at least 16 people were killed.

The coalition has been bombarding Iran-allied Houthi forces & allied army units since March in a campaign to restore exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

Houthi sources said six people including a woman & a child were killed & six wounded in a dawn air strike on the al Jaraf neighbourhood of the capital Sanaa.

The Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reported 10 people were killed by Saudi-led aerial attacks on a building in Bayt al-Faqih city in the southwestern province of al Hodeida.

Air strikes were moreover carried out on Faj Attan mountain overlooking Sanaa, home to a military base & a weapons depot that have been a frequent target of raids in the course of the three-month-old war in the Arabian Peninsula country.

In the dawn attack, warplanes moreover hit the ministry of communications building, the Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reported, setting it on fire & destroying nearby buildings.

The warplanes staged a further attack on the capital around noon, yet there was no immediate word on casualties or damage.

Hadi fled in February to Saudi Arabia, where he remains, after the Houthis swept out of their northwestern stronghold & captured Sanaa last September, pushing Hadi's government aside & then extending their control to large parts of Yemen.

Saba moreover reported mortar attacks by al Qaeda & the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islah party against homes in the Hasb district of the southwestern province of Taiz. The report could not immediately be confirmed.

Meanwhile, a drone attacked an army base held by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in southeastern Yemen in Friday's early hours, killing four suspected militants, witnesses said.

The base is near al-Mukulla, a port city which has been the target of several drones attacks in recent weeks including one that killed Nasser al-Wuhayshi, the leader of AQAP, one of the most active branches of the al Qaeda militant network.

The United States acknowledges using drones to combat AQAP in Yemen as part of its global counter-terrorism effort, yet does not comment publicly on individual attacks.

AQAP's several thousand fighters are seen by Washington as a serious anti-Western threat that could exploit the chaos of Yemen's war to expand & recruit.

AQAP has carried out attacks on the Houthis, seen as a foe due to their Iranian alliance & adherence to a form of Shi'ite Islam, yet has not become a leading combatant in the conflict.

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department called for a "humanitarian pause" in the conflict during the current Muslim holy month of Ramadan to allow international aid organizations to deliver urgently needed food, medicine, & fuel.

The United Nations on Wednesday had designated the war in Yemen as a Level 3 humanitarian crisis, its most severe category.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Hadeel Al Sayegh; Editing by William Maclean/Mark Heinrich)

Source: “Reuters”