Yemeni-Saudi border crossing destroyed in bilateral shelling

Overnight shelling between Iranian backed Houthi militias and Saudi forces destroys border crossing

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Artillery fire between the Saudi Arabian forces and Iran backed-Houthi militias destroyed part of the border crossing between the two countries on Sunday as an eyewitness reported that the shelling killed civilians.

The Hardah border, the largest between the two countries, was evacuated at night amid shelling as residents in neighbouring areas left their homes and fled from the territory which is now a frontier between the two forces.   

The reports of bilateral shelling come as Houthi supporters on social media outlets released photos purporting to depict a downed Saudi Arabia F-15 fighter plane in Yemen.

The photos, which have yet to be verified by the Saudi government, depict a wreckage on which the words “Saudi Royal Air Force” are imprinted.

This escalations come after Yemeni spokesman Rageh Badi said on Saturday that President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi will not attend the peace talks which are set to begin on May 28 in Geneva.

Last March, Saudi Arabia began a military operation with other Arab allies against the Houthis, in response to President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s request to "save the [Yemeni] people from the Houthi militias.”

Backed by Iran, the Houthis took control of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in September through an armed uprising, causing the Yemeni government to flee to Aden after the group attempted to disband the Yemeni government in January.

Houthi forces began a military campaign to take Aden in April, forcing the government to escape Yemen to neighbouring ally Saudi Arabia, where it has set up office in the capital of Riyadh.

The Saudi Arabia led coalition, made up primarily of Arab League states, began conducting air strikes against Houthi targets eight weeks ago with the aim of halting the Houthis’ advance towards Taiz and Aden where government forces and loyalist forces continue battling the Houthis on the ground.

According to the United Nations, at least 646 civilians were killed since March air strikes including 131 children.

About 20 million Yemeni people, 80 percent of the Yemeni population are estimated to suffer from food shortages, the UN said.

TRTWorld and agencies