War planes from the Saudi-led Arab coalition carried out seven air strikes on the Yemeni capital city Sana’a on Saturday as efforts continue to defeat Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels who overrun the city last year.
The air strikes reportedly targeted aerials and transmission equipment belonging to the rebel-held state TV station on Cina'a mountain south of the capital, as well as rocket depots in the al-Nahdayn mountain camp, also in southern Sana’a.
The homes of two military commanders with family ties to the former autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is backing the Houthi rebels, was also targeted.
It is the fourth straight day Sana’a has been hit by the Saudi-led coalition as pro-government forces advance towards the city in a bid to retake it from the rebels.
Apache helicopters also conducted strikes on rebels near Bayhan, which is located between the southern province of Shabwa and the eastern province of Marib.
According to an anonymous military official cited by the AFP news agency, the Arab coalition is sending armoured vehicles from through the Wadia crossing along the Yemeni-Saudi border into the Hadramawt province, from which they will advance to the Marib province to support an offensive being prepared by pro-government forces.
After retaking Marib, the pro-government forces plan to to move west towards Sana’a within the next few days, the source added, building on their successful campaign to retake the southern city of Aden last month.
In a separate operation, up to ten people were killed during air strikes in the city of Ibb, which lies between Sana’a and the coast, including a retired army brigadier and five of his family members, Egyptian news website Ahram Online reported.
A coalition of Arab states allied with the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi have been bombing Houthi insurgency since late March, in addition to running training programmes and dropping weapons for Yemeni fighters loyal to Hadi.
The UN has 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.
Twenty million people in the country are in need of aid, 13 million are facing food shortages and 9.4 million are having difficulties accessing drinking water.