Houthi bombardment kills 43 in Yemen

Yemeni officials announce 43 people were killed and dozens others were injured in bombardment by Houthi forces in Aden,Yemen

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

According to officials, at least 43 people were killed and 173 others were injured in a bombardment by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Aden,Yemen on Sunday.

The health ministry of Yemen’s exiled government confirmed the deaths two days after declaring the city had been liberated.

Local fighters, backed by the Riyadh-based government and a Saudi-led Arab coalition, advanced to seize the remaining parts of Aden as the clashes continued in the city's northern districts of Dar al Saad and Sabr, and in Maashiq in Crater district.

The local fighters and Yemeni army forces captured Aden's airport and other important areas in Aden last week, breaking the months long deadlock in the city.

Houthis took control of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa last September, before expanding to take control over more territory in the country.

Later, the Saudi-led coalition began an extensive air campaign targeting Houthi-held cities across Yemen on March 26 in order to allow president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and his government, who are in self-imposed exile in Riyadh, to return to Yemen’s capital Sanaa.

Many Gulf countries blame Iran for supporting the Houthis by providing aid, including weapons in their fight in Yemen. Therefore, Saudi Arabia sees Iran as its main rival and believes Tehran is using the Houthis in order to project influence into the kingdom’s southern neighbor, which would lead to the threatening of the the Saudi border.

Saudi Arabia also believes the advance of the Houthis will  provoke sectarian violence in Yemen, weakening the country's stability.

Pro-Hadi forces backed by the Saudi-led air strikes took control of the Labuza army base in the Lahj province on Saturday, after a week of planning. The fighters were well-armed and trained by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Houthi forces and their allies in Yemen's army attempted to regroup and take back the northern fringes of Aden on Friday, firing on the Khor Maksar district, but their offensive was repelled.

In the city of Aden alone, more than 858 Yemeni civilians were killed, including 259 children and 6,879 others were wounded in the first 100 days of the conflict.

Since the Saudi-led campaign of air strikes in Yemen started four months ago, at least 3,500 people have killed so far, according to the United Nations.


TRTWorld and agencies