Riyadh says shellings from Yemen killed 375 civilians

Saudi Arabia says 375 civilians died on its border with Yemen as result of shellings from Houthis and their allies, since start of Saudi-led military campaign in neighbouring country

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Houthi militant mans a weapon mounted on a patrol truck while securing a street where women are demonstrating against Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen's capital Sanaa January 21, 2016.

Mortars and rockets targeting Saudi Arabian border towns by Houthi militants have killed 375 civilians, since the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen started late March, 2015, Riyadh said on Monday.

Speaking to Reuters, Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said that Houthi militants and forces, loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh had fired more than 40,000 projectiles across the border, since the war began.

Along the Saudi-Yemen border, the constant attacks by the Houthis and Saleh's forces have forced Riyadh to evacuate dozens of villages and displaced more than 7,000 people from frontier districts, closing over 500 schools.

“Now our rules of engagement are: you are close to the border, you are killed," he said.

Asseri said, on Monday alone, nearly 130 mortars and 15 missiles were fired by Houthis and Saleh's forces at Saudi border positions.

UN says around 6,000 people, half of which are civilians, died in Yemen since the war began.

Yemeni forces backed by the coalition pushed the Houthis from the main southern port city of Aden in June and from the northeastern town of Marib in September, but have since made little territorial progress.

Aden has been the temporary headquarter for Hadi’s government, as it has been fighting to retake large parts of Yemen from Houthi militants.

Hadi fled to Aden in March 2015 after escaping house arrest in the capital Sanaa, which was overran by the Houthis in September 2014. Then, the rebels moved south, forcing Hadi to flee to Riyadh in March.

However, Hadi loyalists -supported by Saudi-led air strikes- recaptured the port city of Aden as they continue to fight to retake other provinces and push toward the Houthi-held capital.

TRTWorld, Reuters