Clashes heat up between Houthis, Saudis on border

Dozens die after Iranian-backed Shiite Houthis attack Saudi Arabian border

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s state-run SPA news agency reported on Saturday that dozens of people were killed after Houthi militias attacked the areas of Jazan and Najran on the Yemeni-Saudi border.

"The Saudi armed forces today were able to repel an attack from the Yemeni side targeting several locations in Jizan and Najran," a statement aired through SPA read.

"The attack turned out to be coordinated, planned and executed by a formation from the Republican Guard belonging to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh and with the support of the Houthi militia."

Four Saudi soldiers were killed in the attacks.

The attacks came after Saudi military forces used a Patriot missile battery to shoot down a Scud missile shot into the country by Houthi militias.

"At 2:45 on Saturday morning, the Houthi militias and ousted Ali Abdullah Saleh [Yemen’s former president] launched a Scud missile in the direction of Khamees al-Mushait, and praise be to God, the Royal Saudi air defences blocked it with a Patriot missile," a statement by the leadership of the Saudi-led Arab coalition conducting an aerial mission against the Houthi militias read.

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

Houthi forces began a military campaign to take Aden in April, forcing the government to escape Yemen to neighbouring ally Saudi Arabia, where it has set up its office in the country’s capital Riyadh.

Pro-government forces continue to clash with Houthi forces across the country with an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia launching air strikes to prevent further gains by the Houthi militia.

TRTWorld and agencies