Eight Hizballah fighters killed in Yemen, claims Saudi Arabia

Eight Hizballah fighters killed in Yemen, claims Saudi Arabia
The Lebanese Shia militant group has long denied it arms the rebel Houthis in Yemen.
2 min read
25 June, 2018
Houthi rebels carrying posters of Hizballah's leader Hassan Nasrallah [Getty]

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebels in Yemen said on Monday it killed eight members of Lebanon's Shia militant group Hizballah.

"The coalition killed 41 terrorist elements in Maran and destroyed their vehicles and equipment. Among the dead were eight members of Lebanese Hizballah, including a commander," said Colonel Turki al-Maliki, a coalition spokesman. 

Maran is in Saada province in northern Yemen, a stronghold of Yemen's Zaydi Shia Houthi rebels backed by Iran. 

It was the first official announcement by the coalition of Lebanese Hizballah fighters being killed in Yemen -- although Maliki told AFP it was "not the first time".

Hizballah officials could not immediately be reached for comment, according to Reuters

The coalition has frequently accused Iran of providing weapons to the Houthis, namely ballistic missiles that have targeted the kingdom with increasing frequency.

Iran, also a backer of Hizballah, has repeatedly denied arming the Houthis. 

In late February, a video which appears to show a Hizballah operative training Yemeni rebels to carry out suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia was released by the kingdom.

The New Arab could not independently verify the content of the video or the identity of the man named as Abu Saleh.

Saudi Arabia's 2015 intervention into Yemen came after President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled into exile as the Houthi rebels overran much of the country.

The conflict has since killed nearly 10,000 people, most of them civilians, while more than 2,200 others have died from cholera. Eight million people are also on the brink of famine, with the UN calling the war on Yemen the "world's worst humanitarian crisis".

The Saudi coalition has helped pro-government forces regain control of the south and much of the Red Sea coast, but the rebels still control the capital Sanaa and most of the north.

Multiple rounds of UN-brokered peace talks have all failed to achieve any breakthrough.

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