Yemen’s Houthis Say Attacked Saudi Air Base in Response to Airstrikes

04 November, 2018, 20:05 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict which has sparked the world's worst humanitarian crisis and a cholera epidemic

The attack targeted King Khalid air base in Khamis Mushait city in southwest the kingdom, said the rebel channel, adding the attack was "in retaliation for the Friday's Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on Sanaa International Airport in the (rebel-held) capital Sanaa".

Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the coalition, said in TV comments that no flights or worldwide aid efforts at the airport were affected by the airstrikes targeting the al-Dulaimi Air Base in Sanaa.

The United Nations estimates that if this continues 14 million people, half of Yemen's population, could be in a state of starvation as a result of the conflict.

The UN chief spoke hours after the Saudi-led coalition said it had attacked an airbase in the capital, Sana'a, and fighting flared between the Houthis and the Saudi-led forces near the western port city of al-Hudaydah.

Addressing reporters at the world body's headquarters in NY on Friday, the secretary-general said the warring parties must seize on the "opportunity for peace" presented by UN-brokered talks scheduled to be held in Sweden later this month. Every 10 minutes a child dies of preventable diseases, according to UNICEF.

Concerned by the rise of the Houthis, believed to be backed by Iran, a US-backed Saudi-UAE military coalition launched an intervention in 2015 in the form of a massive air campaign aimed at reinstalling Hadi's government.

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The port is the entry point for more than 70% of imports into the impoverished country.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced 3 million others, according to United Nations aid agencies.

The ongoing fighting between the two warring rivals, along with daily Saudi-led airstrikes, left scores of casualties.

Back in June, coalition forces, backed by armed militia loyal to Hadi, launched a full-scale offensive against the Houthi-held Hudaydah, which is now under a tight siege imposed by the invaders and through whose docks over 70 percent of Yemen's imports used to pass.

Despite a high-profile modernisation drive aimed at improving Saudi Arabia's image and attracting foreign investment, rights groups have detailed a crackdown on activists, increase in executions and discrimination against the Shiite minority.

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