Saudi-led coalition 'destroys' Yemen rebel missile launch sites

Saudi-led coalition 'destroys' Yemen rebel missile launch sites
A military alliance led by Saudi Arabia said it had destroyed sites used by Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen to launch missiles into the kingdom.

2 min read
29 July, 2018
The deadly conflict has intensified with cross-border attacks in recent weeks [File Photo: AFP]
The Saudi-led coalition destroyed sites used by Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen to launch missiles at the kingdom, the military alliance said on Sunday.

Saudi Arabia's government-run al-Ekhbariya TV, said the coalition announced the "destruction of ballistic missile (launch) sites run by the Houthi militias in Saada", a northern Yemeni province bordering Saudi Arabia and controlled by the Houthis.

The latest development came after days of escalating tensions between the warring factions.

On Friday, the Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes on Yemen's port city of Hodeida, resuming military operations on the Red Sea port city after announcing a ceasefire on 1 July.

Hodeida's residents said the Saudi coalition strikes began after midnight on Friday, striking a Houthi military police camp and a plastics factory in the north of the city.

Rebels also intensified their response in the two days prior to the Friday strikes, attacking two Saudi oil tankers in the Red Sea on Wednesday.

They also reportedly launched a drone attack against the Abu Dhabi international airport on Thursday.

Oil prices rose to a 10-day high after Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil company announced it was temporarily halting crude shipments in response to the attack on two oil tankers.

The Saudi coalition said the Houthis "had almost caused an environmental disaster", according to the state-run al-Ekhbariya TVchannel.

"The coalition will not allow the Houthi militias to build military capabilities that threaten regional waters," read Sunday's coalition statement.

Meanwhile, aid groups operating in Yemen have warned of catastrophic consequences of any further escalation of violence as the Hodeida offensive continues.

Pro-government forces paused their offensive on Hodeida port earlier this month in a bid they say was to give peace efforts a chance. 

But UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said Abu Dhabi - whose forces have been spearheading the Hodeida assault - could "liberate" the port city if talks fail.

More than 13,000 people have died since the Saudi-led coalition intervened to reinstate the internationally-recognised government of Yemen in in March 2015.

The conflict has pushed Yemen, long the most impoverished country in the Arab world, to the brink of famine, prompting the UN to brand it the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.