Air strikes kill 15 in Yemen

Saudi-led coalition launches air strikes, kills 15 in Yemen

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Saudi-led coalition has bombarded Iran-backed Houthi rebels and allied army units, killing 15 people and wounding dozens across Yemen late on Saturday, Reuters has reported.

Five women and two children were reportedly among those wholost their lives in attacks on the Saada and Marib provinces.

Backed by Iran, the Houthis took control of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in September 2014 through an armed uprising, causing the Yemeni government to flee to Aden after the group attempted to disband it in January.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have been competing for influence in the Middle-East - with Tehran and Riyadh supporting rival forces in different conflicts, including in Syria and Yemen, mostly along sectarian lines.

According to Saudi Arabia, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is the greatest cause of instability in the Middle-East, and Iran’s support of Assad as well as Shiite militias in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen has raised sectarian tensions in the region.

The Arab Gulf countries believe Iran aims to make Yemen its backyard in the Arabian Peninsula. 

Failed peace talks

The representatives of the Houthi group refused to meet on Friday with the foreign minister of the government-in-exile during the Yemen peace talks in the Swiss city of Geneva, wasting the opportunity to end months of conflict in Yemen.

According to the UN, $1.6 billion is needed to help people in Yemen who have been devastated by the war between the Houthis and exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s supporters, who are backed by the Saudi-led coalition. 

“The money is needed to address the constantly increasing humanitarian needs in Yemen until the end of 2015,” spokesperson for the UN's humanitarian agency, Jens Laerke told reporters in Geneva.

“More than 21 million people, or 80 percent of the population, is now estimated to be in need of some form of humanitarian aid,” he added.

As of March 26, nearly 3,000 people have been killed in clashes between Saudi-led coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels. 

ISIS latest car-bomb attacks in the region also brought a new dimension in the conflict.

Nearly five separate car-bomb attacks have been launched by ISIS, most of them near mosques where Shiite people go for prayer, killing more than 60 people.

TRTWorld and agencies