Yemen forces enter Houthi heartland via Saudi Arabia

Yemen forces enter Houthi heartland via Saudi Arabia
Yemen government forces slipped into the Houthi 'capital' of Saada, entering the rebel territory via ally Saudi Arabia.
2 min read
12 October, 2016
Loyalist forces opened up a new front to battle the Houthi rebels on Wednesday

Forces loyal to the Yemeni government have advanced into the Houthi-rebel heartland from neighbouring Saudi Arabia, loyalist sources said on Wednesday.

Fighters entered Yemen at the long-closed al-Buqah border crossing before pushing west towards the rebel stronghold of Saada, a militia source told AFP.

They "advanced dozens of kilometres towards the city of Saada," the government-controlled version of Yemen's SABA news agency said.

The fighters had been transported to the northern border from the government-controlled south with the support of Saudi Arabia, which has been leading a military intervention against the rebels since March last year.

The move marks the second time that Saudi-backed government forces have tried to open up a new front against the rebels in the north by crossing from Saudi Arabia.

In December last year, troops advanced down the Red Sea coast, capturing the port of Midi, but that offensive has since made little headway.

Houthi rebels and their allies maintain control most of the Red Sea coast, as well as the capital Sanaa and much of the central and northern highlands.

On Tuesday, a Houthi missile targeting the southwestern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait was destroyed by the kingdom's forces

The missile was launched in response to a Saudi-led coalition air raid in Sanaa which killed more than 140 people attending a funeral wake.

More than 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led launched a military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen.