Al Houthi missile launch sites destroyed

Riyadh – A military alliance led by Saudi Arabia fighting to uphold the legitimacy of Yemen’s internationally recognised government said Sunday it had destroyed sites used by Al Houthi militia to launch missiles at the kingdom. In a statement reported by Al Ekhbariya TV, the coalition announced the “destruction of ballistic missile (launch) sites run by the Al Houthi militias in Sa’ada,” a northern Yemeni province bordering Saudi Arabia and controlled by Al Houthis.

Meanwhile, heavy fighting along Yemen’s west coast between pro-government forces and Al Houthis in recent days has left dozens dead, Yemeni officials and witnesses said Sunday.

Government forces, backed by the coalition, have been advancing in the area in recent weeks as they battle the Iran-allied Al Houthis. The fighting has escalated as government forces try to retake the port city of Hodeida, the main entry point for food.

The government has been waging an offensive to seize the Al Houthis-occupied district of Zabid south of Hodeida, the officials said. The offensive is being waged by ground troops carrying sophisticated weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles, with air cover from the Saudi-led coalition, they said.

The fighting to capture Zabid, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has killed dozens.

The coalition on Sunday also targeted Al Houthis in the district of Al Durayhimi south of Hodeida with air strikes, killing at least 18, the officials said. The Al Houthis were trying to break into Al Durayhimi, about 20km south of Hodeida International Airport, they said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media, while the witnesses did so for fear of reprisals.

The Saudi-led coalition launched the campaign to retake Hodeida in June, with UAE troops leading the force of government soldiers and pro-government fighters backing Yemen’s exiled government. Saudi Arabia has provided air support.

Hodeida, home to 600,000 people, is some 150 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of the capital Sana’a.

Al Houthis have laid land mines, killing and wounding civilians. They have also targeted religious minorities and imprisoned opponents.


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