Monday, December 04, 2017

Yemen War: Saudi Bombs Rain Down on Sana'a
Mon Dec 4, 2017 11:33AM

Smoke billows behind a building in the Yemeni capital Sana'a on December 3, 2017, during clashes between Houthi fighters and supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Photo by AFP)

Local residents have reported that their homes were rattled as Saudi warplanes rained bombs on several locations near Sana’a International Airport and the Interior Ministry, both under the control of the Houthi Ansarullah movement. The aerial strikes started late Sunday and continued into the early hours of Monday.

The casualty count is not known, with sources noting that the airport itself was not pounded during the aerial attacks.

Riyadh has intensified its airstrikes since the breakdown of an anti-Saudi alliance between the Houthi fighters and forces loyal to Saleh last week.

On Saturday, Saleh called upon the Yemeni armed forces and police not to take orders from the Ansarullah movement "under any circumstances or at any place" and expressed his intention "to turn a new page" in relations with the Saudi-led coalition if it agreed to end its military aggression against and the blockade on Yemen.

Since November 29, armed clashes sparked by forces loyal to Saleh, have continued against Houthi forces that are at the forefront of a retaliatory war against the Saudi-led military coalition. Saleh loyalists accuse the Houthi fighters of raiding their bases across Sana’a and beyond, an allegation that the Houthi leader has strongly denied.

Houthi fighters man a checkpoint in the Yemeni capital Sana'a on December 2, 2017, during clashes with supporters of Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Photo by AFP)
Yemen’s al-Masirah news website reports that Houthi fighters have managed to take over several positions from Saleh loyalists in Sana’a.

The Interior Ministry also stated on Monday that Saleh forces are teetering on the edge of collapse.

The ministry said in a statement late on Sunday that many of Saleh's senior commanders had been arrested while hundreds of mercenaries had surrendered and laid down their weapons.

The ministry stressed that Yemeni security forces and popular committees will continue their operations to purge other areas from “treason militias.”

Saleh residence bombed

Meanwhile, there have been unconfirmed reports of Houthi fighters blowing up the house of Saleh in the center of Sana’a on Monday.

Initial reports suggested that the ex-president had been killed in the attack, but his party later denied the news.

UN chief calls for truce in Yemen

Also, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Sunday called for a ceasefire in Yemen amid an ongoing humanitarian crisis.

The UN chief "calls on all parties to the conflict to cease all air and ground assaults" and is "deeply concerned about the sharp escalation of armed clashes" over the past several days, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

"Ambulances and medical teams cannot access the injured and people cannot go outside to buy food and other necessities. Aid workers are unable to travel and implement critical life-saving programs at a time when millions of Yemenis rely on assistance to survive," he added, reiterating calls for the Saudi-led coalition to end its blockade of the Arab country.

Saudi Arabia announced in November that it was shutting down Yemen’s air, sea, and land borders, after Ansarullah fighters targeted an international airport near the Saudi capital, Riyadh, with a cruise missile in retaliation for the ceaseless bombardment of Yemen by the Saudi war machine for more than two and a half years.

Saudi Arabia has been pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstate its ally, Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The war has taken the lives of more than 12,000 Yemenis and left the country's infrastructure in ruins.

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