The Saudi-led coalition forces in Yemen have stepped up their air campaign against Houthi fighters in the capital, Sana’a, after the killing 60 Gulf soldiers by the Houthis.
The Houthis launched a surprise missile attack in Marib, an eastern oil province, killing 45 United Arab Emirate (UAE), ten Saudi and five Bahraini soldiers. The Houthis described the missile attack as “revenge” for six months of deadly Arab coalition air raids.
The UAE said the attack is the worst since the formation of the country in 1971. It has vowed to continue to fight the Houthis to restore the ousted president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Three days of national mourning have been declared. The White House has sent an official condolence message to the coalition for the losses.
“Our revenge shall not take long. We will press ahead until we purge Yemen of the scum,” Emirati media quoted Abu Dhabi Crown Prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, as warning.
The coalition launched an air campaign against the Houthis after they (Houthis) seized strategic areas of the country, forcing President Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia in March of this year.
Witnesses told Aljazeera that the coalition warplanes bombed many positions of the Iranian-backed Houthi fighters, hoping to take back areas the Houthis have taken in the past few days.
There were allegations by some Gulf media that the coalition has used cluster bombs and that this has affected the civilian population in the city. Areas in the city bombed included bases on the Nahdain, Fajj Attan Hills and the neighboring presidential complex, south of Sana’a. More than 260 civilians are reported to have been wounded and have been flown to Jordan for medical treatment.
Meanwhile, Aljazeera has revealed that Qatar is deploying more than 1,000 ground troops to engage the Houthis after their attack on the coalition. The troops are said to be backed by more than 200 armored vehicles and 30 Apache combat helicopters.
The United Nations has said more than 4,500 people have been killed in the conflict including hundreds of children and that country is on the brink of severe famine if immediate measures are not taken.
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