Yemen's Houthi rebels launch missile at Saudi-led coalition camp in Shabwa, say sources

Yemen's Houthi rebels launch missile at Saudi-led coalition camp in Shabwa, say sources
Yemen's Houthi rebels launched a missile at a camp belonging to the Saudi-led coalition in Shabwa, an oil-producing province and key battleground in the years-long war.
2 min read
30 December, 2021
One local official said seven people died from the attack [stock photo, source: Getty]

Yemen's Houthis on Thursday launched a missile at a camp housing Yemeni forces belonging to a Saudi-led coalition that had sent reinforcements to counter a push on the oil-producing province of Shabwa, military sources and a local official said.

The ballistic missile killed four soldiers and wounded 13 at the camp in Markha, three military sources said. A local official put the death toll at seven.

There was no immediate comment from the Houthis or from the pro-coalition Giants Brigade, which said on Wednesday that fighters previously stationed in western Yemen had arrived in Shabwa in the south.

The Iran-aligned Houthis, who have been battling the coalition for more than six years, advanced in the central province of Marib, the country's only gas-producing area and home to its largest oil fields.

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The group has made inroads into Shabwa, cutting off supply lines to Marib, which is the internationally recognised government's last northern stronghold.

Government forces still hold Marib's capital and nearby hydrocarbon facilities.

The war, which has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions, has been in a military stalemate for years but 2021 saw shifts in frontlines that could further complicate stalled peace efforts.

The Houthis have also stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia and the coalition has carried out airstrikes on Houthi targets, including in the capital Sanaa.

UN special envoy Hands Grundberg warned on December 14 that the escalation could open an "even more fragmented and bloody" chapter in the war which has caused a dire humanitarian crisis.

Yemen has been mired in violence since the Houthis ousted the government from Sanaa, prompting the coalition to intervene months later in March 2015 in a conflict largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.