Dozens killed in fresh Yemen airstrikes, clashes

Dozens killed in fresh Yemen airstrikes, clashes
Seven members of the same family were among dozens killed in ongoing violence in Yemen, security and medical sources said on Monday.
2 min read
26 December, 2017
Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have intensified in recent weeks [Getty]

Dozens were killed in fresh airstrikes and clashes in Yemen, security and medical sources said on Monday, as Saudi-backed pro-government forces push an offensive against Houthi rebels.

On the outskirts of the capital Sanaa, a witness told AFP that seven members of the same family including women and children were killed by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on Monday. 

The deadly air raid in Sanaa hit the guard house at a memorial to Egyptian soldiers killed in Yemen in the 1960s, according to a witness who served as a first responder. 

The guardian of the memorial Ali Mosleh al-Rimi and his wife were killed, along with his four daughters and another relative, Moussaed al-Himi said. 

Himi, who helped evacuate the bodies, said two other family members were wounded. Rebel media put the number of dead at 11.  

"I saw everything with my own eyes," Himi said, adding that multiple missiles had hit the house, which was left badly damaged.

Over 60 fighters were also killed in the ongoing violence, including 18 rebels killed in overnight Saudi-led coalition air raids in Hais, south of the key port of Hodeida.

Meanwhile, bombardments from gunships left 35 others dead in nearby Tahita, a security official told AFP.

The latest fighting also killed 12 government troops and wounded 19 more, military and medical sources said. 

It comes as government troops and coalition forces advance along the Red Sea coast, after seizing the town of Khokha earlier this month. 

The stated goal is to reach Hodeida, Yemen's second largest port and a key entry point for aid to the country, which the UN has warned faces "the largest famine the world has seen for many decades".

But the coalition has met strong resistance from the Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa and most of northern Yemen.

A Saudi-led coalition has been waging an air campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels since March 2015 in an attempt to shore up the internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

Fighting and air raids have intensified since December 19, when Saudi air defences intercepted a ballistic missile fired by the Houthis towards the capital Riyadh. 

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the coalition's intervention in the impoverished country, where more than 2,000 people have also died of cholera this year.

The UN human rights office said it had tallied 136 civilians killed and another 87 wounded in strikes on Sanaa, Saada, Hodeida, Marib and Taiz governorates between December 6 and 16.