Air strikes hit Yemeni capital after coalition losses

Saudi-led coalition jets bomb Houthi positions, Yemeni army bases in Sana'a

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Smoke billows from the site of Saudi-led air strikes on al-Dailami air base in Yemen's capital Sanaa September 6, 2015

Updated Sep 7, 2015

Two days after a rebel attack killed 60 Gulf soldiers, powerful explosions shook the Yemeni capital, Sana'a on Sunday.

The air strikes targeted Houthi rebel targets and army bases, loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The targets also included bases on the Nahdain and Fajj Attan hills and the neighbouring presidential complex, south of Sana'a.

Residents said that explosions could be heard through the night. Buildings collapsed but no casualties have been reported. Most of the residents were evacuated.

"The sounds of explosions had not stopped since 1:15 a.m. [2215 GMT]," a resident told Reuters.

On Saturday, air strikes targeting Houthi positions in the city killed at least 24 civilians from two families in Sana'a. Hospital officials reported that the numbers rose to 27 on Sunday.

On Friday, 50 soldiers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, as well as 10 Saudi soldiers were reportedly killed by Houthi forces, Reuters reported.

Houthi rocket fire hit a weapons storage facility at a military camp near the Saudi – Yemen border, in the oil-producing city, Marib.

The initial information from UAE’s State Emirates News Agency (WAM) said that  22 UAE soldiers were killed in the strike. WAM later declared 23 more soldiers died from their wounds and revised the number to 45. Bahrain’s official news agency BNA said that five Bahraini soldiers were also killed in the attack.

UAE has played a major role in the Arab coalition fights against Houthis, after President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was exiled, after Houthis took over the country. UAE forces supported the troops loyal to Hadi to expel Houthis and their allies from the southern port city of Aden.

Since air strikes began in March, Saudi Arabia and UAE reported several deaths of soldiers in Yemen, but the total number of the coalition was much more. More than 4,000 Yemenis have died.

The UN has declared the situation in Yemen to be a level-three humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale, after about 80 percent of the country’s population fell into dire need of humanitarian aid.

Twenty million people in the country are in need of aid, 13 million are facing food shortages and 9.4 million are having difficulties accessing drinking water.

TRTWorld and agencies