Saudi Arabia’s offensive follows a deadly attack by Houthi rebels in the southern part of the kingdom, the first in more than three years.
Saudi Arabia launched a military operation on Saturday « in large scaleIn Yemen after two people were killed and seven injured in the first fatal attack claimed by the Houthi rebels in the Saudi kingdom in more than three years. Riyadh has been working in Yemen since 2015 at the head of a coalition to support government forces, which have been at war for seven years against the Houthi rebels. The latter, close to Iran, often strike Saudi territory from Yemen.
The kingdom’s civil defense announced that two people, including a Saudi and a Yemeni, were killed in the attack in the Saudi region of Jazan, bordering Yemen. The Houthis claimed responsibility for the strike, saying they launched three ballistic missiles. « A projectile fell on a commercial building, killing two, a Saudi and a Yemeni resident. He injured seven civilians, including six Saudis and a Bangladeshi resident», Specifies an official Saudi press release.
Shortly after this attack, the coalition said “prepare for a large-scale military operationAgainst the rebels. Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree in a statement threatened the Saudi kingdom with « painful operations« If he continued »his aggression and his crimes».
Intensification of the fighting
While Yemeni rebels regularly launch missiles and drones into neighboring Saudi Arabia, targeting its airports and oil infrastructure, this is the first deadly attack to hit the kingdom since 2018.
Yemeni doctors said three people were killed and six others were injured in retaliatory airstrikes by the coalition northwest of the rebel-held Yemeni capital Sana’a. « Three civilians, including a child and a woman, were killed and six others injured, in the town of Ajama« , Reported doctors to AFP.
The anti-Houthi military coalition has indicated it will hold a press conference on Saturday.
In recent times, the fighting has intensified, with Saudi airstrikes on Sana’a, due to which the airport of the capital, under Saudi blockade since 2016, can no longer accommodate since Tuesday the planes of humanitarian organizations and the UN. Riyadh says it is responding to drone attacks fomented from this airport.
On Thursday, the coalition, which had targeted a Houthi military camp in Sanaa the day before, said it had destroyed a drone bomb targeting Abha airport in southern Saudi Arabia, without causing any casualties. On the same day, the US Navy announced the seizure of 1,400 AK-47 assault rifles and ammunition from a fishing boat that it said left Iran for the Yemeni rebels. Tehran recognizes its political support for the rebels but denies providing them with weapons.
Since the capture of Sana’a in 2014, the Houthis have captured most of northern Yemen, despite intervention by the Saudi-led military coalition. According to the UN, the war in Yemen has caused the death of 377,000 people, more than half of them due to the indirect consequences of the conflict, including lack of clean water, hunger and disease.
On Wednesday, the UN said « constraint»To reduce food aid in Yemen for lack of necessary funds, at a time when hunger increases in a country ravaged by one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Some 80% of Yemen’s more than 30 million people depend on international aid.