Using helicopters and fighter jets, a Saudi-led coalition on Sunday has pushed back Yemeni Houthi rebels who have been pressing to take over Saudi territory for the past six days, as dozens of Houthis have been killed, according to residents and Saudi state television.
Although, two residents told Reuters that 20 Houthi rebels had been killed at the southern border of two Saudi provinces, Najran and Jizan, Saudi state television reported that the death toll of Houthis has reached 50.
Houthis and allied fighters, loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, have been trying to force their way into Saudi Arabia since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March, targeting the rebels to restore the exiled Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
According to Houthi-run sources, hundreds of Houthi-aligned forces initiated a major attack on the border on Tuesday, seizing three Saudi police stations near Najran as well as destroying armoured vehicles.
On the other hand, the coalition conducted dozens of air strikes in Yemen’s central Taiz and Marib provinces. Some medical sources and residents claimed that one strike had hit a home in Sirwah Marib, causing the death of 10 civilians.
Saudi Arabia and allies consider Houthi rebels as an Iranian proxy, accusing Iran of trying to spread its influence into Arab states including Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
The United Nations says that at least 5,700 people, approximately half of them civilians, have been killed and 2.3 million others displaced since war broke out in Yemen in March.