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Saudi airstrikes target Yemen's Sanaa

July 20, 2019

Rebel military camps belonging to the Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been targeted by an aerial bombardment. The operation follows last week's attempts by the United Nations to restart stalled peace talks.

Airstrike on the outskirts of Sanaa
File photo showing a previous airstrike on the outskirts of the capital, SanaaImage: picture alliance/AP Photo/H. Mohammed

The Saudi-led coalition on Saturday unleashed airstrikes on rebel positions in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, Saudi state television reported early on Saturday.

Residents described hearing powerful explosions as a result of an aerial bombardment that targeted rebel military camps in several parts of the city. Flames were seen rising from the struck facilities.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

Read more: Child soldiers used in Yemen civil war, report says

Saudi Arabia's state-run Saudi Press Agency cited coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki as saying that the airstrikes targeted five rebel air defense sites and a ballistic missile depot.

"The alliance command is committed to preventing the terrorist Houthi militia and other terrorist organizations from having access to such military capabilities."

Yemen has been at war since 2014, when Iran-backed Houthi rebels took over Sanaa.

The conflict intensified in March 2015, when the Houthis first advanced on the southern city of Aden. That prompted Saudi Arabia and Sunni allies to start an air campaign against the Shiite group and to restore the internationally recognized government to power.

Read more: UN hosts Yemeni talks to break stalemate

Extremist groups have also taken advantage of the feud to expand their influence in the poor country.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people, many of whom are civilians, aid agencies say. Some 3.3 million people have been forced from their homes.

The warring parties met last week to discuss the stalled truce agreement for the contested port city of

The deal was brokered in December in Sweden but has been interrupted by clashes.

mm/jlw (dpa, Reuters)

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