19 civilians killed in Saudi airstrikes in Yemen
At least 19 civilians have been killed in fresh Saudi airstrikes on different parts of Yemen, local residents say.
Saudi warplanes bombed a number of villages in al-Hajawara in the northern Hajjah Province on Sunday, killing 12 civilians and injuring 30 others. The victims were reportedly inside their homes at the time of the bombing.
Furthermore, seven civilians were killed in a Saudi airstrike on a market in Qabatiya district in southern Yemen.
Two areas in Sa’ada and Ta’izz provinces were also targeted.
In return, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah fighters and their allied army units fired a surface to surface missile toward King Khalid airbase in the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait in Saudi Arabia’s Asir region.
On Saturday, Yemen’s air force downed a Saudi Arabian reconnaissance aircraft in the Jihanah district of Sana’a Province.
Also on Saturday, Yemeni troops carried out a retaliatory attack on a camp of pro-Saudi militants in the impoverished state’s southwestern province of Lahij, destroying a tank and killing two soldiers.
The Sunday attacks came a day before a seven-day ceasefire brokered by the United Nations goes into effect. The ceasefire is followed by peace talks due in Switzerland on Tuesday to end Yemen’s eight-month-long war.
Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March. The Saudi military strikes were launched to supposedly undermine the Ansarullah movement and bring back to power the fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh
More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since March. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools and factories.
There have been increased warnings that the aggression could strengthen the grip of terror groups across Yemen. Ansarullah fighters have been involved in battles with such groups.