Houthis launch scud missiles at Saudi Arabia

Battle intensifies between Houthis and Saudi-led coalition

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Saudi border guards on the Saudi-Yemeni border

Iranian-backed Houthi militants allied to renegade Yemeni army units fired a ballistic missile towards southern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, the group's TV channel said.

"The Yemeni army fired a Scud ballistic missile toward Jizan," the Houthi-run Al Maseera TV reported on its twitter page.

On Tuesday evening two Saudi soldiers were killed in clashes along the Yemeni-Saudi border between Saudi troops and Houthi fighters, according to the television channel Al Arabiya. Missiles have been launched at Saudi Arabia by Yemeni forces two times previously during the five-month-war in the country. 

The Saudi Armed Forces said in a statement that the two soldiers were killed while Saudi troops were conducting security operations near the border with Yemen.

Another Saudi soldier was killed on Tuesday after fire from Yemen targeted a checkpoint in Al Harth District located in the south of the Saudi-Yemeni border region, Jazan, in Saudi Arabia.

Following intensified combat between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coaltion, Saba - Yemen's Houthi-controlled state news agency - reported that anti-Houthi coalition war planes launched over 100 air strikes on Tuesday alone targetting the group's main bastion in Saada Province. The news could not be verified. 

Saudi Air Forces have led a member Arab coalition comprising of 10 countries in Yemen since March 26 targeting Houthi militias in order to restore the exiled government of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. 

The Saudi-Yemeni border has witnessed several confrontations between Houthis and the Saudi troops which have caused the deaths of dozens of Saudi soldiers and civilians.

The Houthis have been using mortar shelling and rockets to target both the border cities of Jazan and Najran in southwestern Saudi Arabia since March. The Saudi-led coalition often responds to the shellings of Saudi cities by airstrikes on the Houthi-held areas in Yemen.

Last month Yemeni government forces retook the key port city of Aden from the Houthis, who are supported by the allies of ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, in a major setback for the rebels. Later they captured the province of Abyan on August,11.

Humanitarian crisis in Yemen

The war in Yemen has triggered a severe humanitarian crisis. The UN 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.

The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) warned last week of the possibility of a famine in the war-torn Yemen. Ertharin Cousin, the WFP's Executive Director said last Wednesday that shortages of food, fresh water and fuel have created a “perfect storm” for the Yemeni people.

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

Since the coalition airstikes began in March at least 4,000 civilians have been killed while at least 1.3 million have been forced to flee their homes.

TRTWorld and agencies