Yemeni rebels claim Saudi strikes, warn of more attacks

Published March 1, 2021
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed missile and drone strikes that targeted Saudi Arabia on Saturday night and threatened more attacks. — AFP/File
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed missile and drone strikes that targeted Saudi Arabia on Saturday night and threatened more attacks. — AFP/File

SANAA: Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed missile and drone strikes that targeted Saudi Arabia on Saturday night and threatened more attacks.

Houthi fighters have intensified operations against Riyadh as air strikes by the Saudi-led military alliance pound rebel positions in the north of Yemen, in a bid to stop their offensive to seize the government’s last northern stronghold of Marib.

Years of war have already pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

Saudi Arabia — which has been backing the Yemeni government against the rebels since 2015 — said it had thwarted a Houthi missile that targeted Riyadh.

“The operation was carried out with a ballistic missile and 15 drones... targeting sensitive areas in the enemy’s capital of Riyadh,” said spokesman Yahya al Saree, according to the rebels’ Al Masirah TV channel.

“Our operations will continue and will expand as long as the aggression and siege on our country continues.” Fragments of the missile scattered over several Riyadh neighbourhoods, damaging at least one home but no casualties were reported, Saudi state-run Al Ekhbariya television said.

Correspondents in the Saudi capital reported hearing multiple loud explosions, with state television footage showing the night sky light up with a bright flash.

The coalition said it had intercepted six Houthi drones targeting Saudi Arabia, including the southern cities of Khamis Mushait and Jizan.

Saree on Sunday claimed those attacks as well, warning residents in the region to “stay clear from all military airports and sites”.

‘Catastrophe’

The Houthis have escalated cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia even after the United States delisted the rebels as terrorists, reversing a decision by the administration of former president Donald Trump.

The designation had been widely criticised by aid organisations, who warned it would hamper their efforts to alleviate a humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

US President Joe Biden halted support to Saudi offensive operations in Yemen’s war, which he called a “catastrophe” that “has to end”.

But he has also reiterated US support for Saudi Arabia in defending its territory.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemned the Houthi strikes.

“These put innocent lives at risk and show that those responsible are not serious about peace, let alone protecting the Yemeni people,” he tweeted.

Bombardment in Hodeida

On Sunday, in the latest violence in Yemen, five civilians, including a child, were killed when their home was destroyed in a bombardment near the strategic rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeida.

The warring sides traded blame over who was responsible, with the government accusing Houthis of firing a mortar bomb and the rebels saying the explosion was caused by twin air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition.

Alongside the cross-border attacks, the Houthis are pressing ahead with an offensive to seize the government-held Marib region, where some of the country’s richest oil fields are found.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2021

Opinion

Educating merged districts
Updated 12 Apr 2021

Educating merged districts

The seven merged districts of KP, with a combined population of over five million, do not have a single university.
Greater visibility
12 Apr 2021

Greater visibility

It is not surprising that the custodians of patriarchy are fearful.
Rethinking executions
11 Apr 2021

Rethinking executions

One convict’s fight to escape the gallows exposes the deep flaws in our criminal justice system.

Editorial

Pakistan-India peace
Updated 12 Apr 2021

Pakistan-India peace

Experts note that everything — including Kashmir — can be resolved if there is a will in both capitals.
12 Apr 2021

Child abuse

IN its annual report, the NGO Sahil found that there has been a 4pc increase in documented cases of major crimes...
12 Apr 2021

New tax chief’s task

THE FBR got a new chairman on Friday. Asim Ahmed, a senior IRS officer who was serving as the Board’s IT member...
11 Apr 2021

Dissension within PTI

WITH the dust from the PDM’s implosion still not fully settled, the PTI is now faced with growing dissension from...
11 Apr 2021

Power to arrest

A SUPREME Court verdict announced on Thursday spelled out what might be considered a self-evident truth in any...
11 Apr 2021

Unequal vaccine distribution

IT is in times of crisis that we often see the best — or worst — of humanity. In this regard, the pandemic has...