Airstrike in Yemen kills dozens of Houthi rebels including commanders
An air strike on Yemen’s capital by a Saudi-led military coalition has killed dozens of Houthi rebels including at least two commanders, Saudi television reported.
Saudi Arabia’s official Al-Ekhbariya television said on Saturday, April 28 that two high-ranking insurgents were among more than 50 Houthi rebels killed in Sana’a on Friday evening, without giving further details.
Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television said a total of 38 rebels were killed in the strike on a Houthi interior ministry building.
The Houthis confirmed an air strike on Sanaa but gave no details.
The raid came hours ahead of a public funeral of the Houthis’ political head Saleh al-Sammad, killed last week in a Saudi-led coalition strike.
It also came as newly-appointed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to land in Riyadh for meetings including talks on the Yemen conflict.
The Iran-backed rebels have been locked in a war with the Saudi-led military alliance, which since 2015 has fought to restore the internationally-recognised Yemeni government to power.
Riyadh intervened in the conflict in 2015 at the behest of Yemen’s internationally-recognized government, but the conflict is widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Houthis control Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, as well as much of the country’s north – which borders Saudi Arabia – and the key Hodeida port on Yemen’s Red Sea coast.
Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led alliance joined the Yemen conflict, triggering what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
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Yemen now stands at the brink of famine.
The Saudi-led coalition imposed a total blockade on Yemen’s ports in November in retaliation for cross-border Houthi missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.
The blockade has since been partially lifted, but access to the impoverished country remains limited.
With reporting from AFP