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Airstrikes rock Sanaa after rebel attack

September 6, 2015

Saudi-led airstrikes against Houthis have wounded 17 people in Sanaa, including several children. The air assault was part of a retaliatory campaign after rebel forces had killed scores of coalition fighters on Friday.

Smoke billows from the site of Saudi-led air strikes on al-Dailami air base in Yemen's capital Sanaa September 6, 2015.
Image: Reuters/K. Abdullah

Saudi-led coalition jets bombed a Houthi military position and two army bases in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. The airstrikes appeared to be part of retaliatory action taken for the killing of dozens of coalition soldiers two days ago. The Saudi-led coalition had vowed to press on with its air war following the attack.

Security officials from both sides of the conflict said that Sunday's airstrikes had destroyed a key rebel encampment in central Sanaa, hitting a school, several restaurants and the nearby Saudi and Emirati embassies. The school was alleged to be affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Witnesses said that Sunday's bombardment was one of the heaviest since the air campaign had begun.

Explosions and destruction

Residents said explosions could be heard all night long and that several buildings had been leveled. There were no immediate reports of casualties as most people in the area managed to evacuate.

But at least 24 people had been killed in Sanaa the previous day when air strikes had targeted further Houthi positions in the city. Hospital officials said the death toll in that attack had risen to 27.


On Friday, Iranian-allied Houthi rebels attacked a weapons storage facility in Marib, where 45 Emirati soldiers, five Bahrainis, 10 Saudis and four Yemenis lost their lives. It was the heaviest toll suffered by the Saudi-led alliance since the beginning of air strikes in March. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) pledged to quickly avenge its heaviest-ever military loss.

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed announced that his revenge would "not take long."

"We will press ahead until we purge Yemen of the scum," he was quoted as saying in Emirati media.

The UAE is part of the Arab coalition formed in March aimed at stopping the Iran-supported rebels from taking full control of Yemen with the expectation of restoring the rule of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Ongoing warfare

Yemen has been torn by heavy fighting between Houthi rebels and exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's coalition-backed forces. After loyalists managed to recapture the southern port of Aden back in July, the coalition launched a ground operation that has seen the rebels pushed back from five southern provinces. However, they still control the capital Sanaa and much of the north and center.

More than 4,500 people have been killed in the conflict, including hundreds of children, according to the United Nations, which has warned that Yemen was on the brink of famine.

ss/se (AP, Reuters, AFP)