Top Saudi, Emirati commanders killed in Yemen
Two senior Saudi and Emirati army commanders have been killed in fighting with the Houthi Ansarullah fighters in Yemen.
According to a report by the United Arab Emirates’ state news agency WAM on Monday, an Emirati officer, identified as Sultan Mohammed Ali al-Kitbi, was killed in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.
Saudi-owned al-Arabiya al-Hadath channel also showed photographs of Abdullah al-Sahian, the slain top Saudi officer.
The Houthi fighters also announced in their own media that the two had been killed in a rocket attack on the Red Sea coast.
Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah news website reported that the Yemeni army, backed by popular committees loyal to the Ansarullah movement, targeted a Saudi military headquarters in Ta’izz with a Tochka ballistic missile on Sunday night.
The clashes come as a seven-day ceasefire is to start on Monday at midnight in Yemen, on the eve of UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland between Ansarullah and representative of Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Two previous ceasefires, in May and July, were followed by accusations of violations by both sides.
Yemen has been under Saudi military strikes on a daily basis since March 26. The military campaign is meant to undermine the Ansarullah movement and return Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, to power.
More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since the strikes began. The Saudi war has also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure.
Yemen is the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest nation and an estimated 80 percent of its population of 26 million need aid.