Saudi Arabia launches air strikes on Saada following warnings

Saudi-led coalition conducted air strikes in Yemeni province of Saada after evacuation warnings ended at 7 pm

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The Saudi-led coalition targeting the Houthis in Yemen conducted air strikes on several targets in the province of Saada, hours after leaflets were dropped warning locals to leave the province by a 7 pm deadline.

Among the targets were the command centers of Houthi leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi in several parts of Saada, Saudi state television Al Ekhbariya has reported. 

The northwestern province remains a stronghold of the Iran-backed Houthi movement.

Communication centers and weapons storage facilities were also targeted during the operation.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Tuesday had launched an attack with rockets and mortars on the Saudi Arabian border town of Najran, killing at least three Saudi people last week.

Saudi-led forces threatened a harsh response to these attacks by sunset on Friday.

A spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition, General Ahmad Assiri, said “Yemenis were being told to leave Houthi strongholds by sunset this evening for their own safety.”

"Our work now is reaching those [Houthis] who planned these attacks and who are hiding in Saada, and the places where the militias are," he told Saudi TV.

Houthis were offered a five-day humanitarian ceasefire by Saudi Arabia earlier on Friday, which would begin on Tuesday, May 12, if the Houthis agreed.

“A cease-fire does not mean peace,” said the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, urging all parties in Yemen to return to the negotiating table to reach a political solution in order to end the conflict, which has claimed at least 646 civilian lives according to the United Nations data.

TRTWorld and agencies