Army soldiers, allies kill Saudi mercenaries off Yemen coast
Yemeni forces have launched an operation against Riyadh-backed militiamen loyal to the former government, killing scores of them, including the commander of Saudi-led Emirati troops in Yemen.
The media bureau of the operations command in Yemen announced on Wednesday that a host of Saudi mercenaries died and sustained injuries when Yemeni troopers launched a medium-range ballistic missile at their gathering close to the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, the al-Masirah television network reported.
The report added that several high-ranking pro-Saudi commanders were among the slain militiamen in the missile attack that hit the city of Mokha in Ta’izz Province.
Nasser Moshabib al-Atibi, the commander of Emirati troops in Yemen, was among those killed. Arabic-language Here Aden news agency later reported that Major General Ahad Saif al-Yafei, the the second-in-command of the Saudi-backed military forces, had been killed in the missile attack.
Emirati officials have not made any comments on the report yet.
Separately, Yemeni soldiers and allied popular forces struck a position of Saudi mercenaries in al-Hanani area of Maqbanah district in the country’s southwestern province of Ta’izz, leaving scores of pro-Saudi gunmen dead and injured.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman praised the “stinging and painful” retaliatory missile attacks against Saudi Arabia.
Even though the assaults do not match Saudi regime’s indiscriminate airstrikes in number, they have accurately hit the designated targets inside Saudi Arabia, Luqman pointed out.
Saudi strikes claim more civilian lives
In another development, Saudi fighter jets also carried a string of airstrikes against residential neighborhoods across Yemen on Wednesday, leaving several people killed and injured.
Six civilian lost their lives when Saudi warplanes bombarded Jabal al-Ahmar mountainous area in the al-Humaydat district of Yemen’s northern province of al-Jawf.
Saudi aircraft also launched more than 20 airstrikes against other regions in Yemen, with no immediate reports of casualties and the extent of damage caused.
Saudi Arabia has been engaged in a deadly campaign against Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a close Riyadh ally.
The airstrikes have taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.
The United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, says the Saudi campaign has claimed the lives of 10,000 Yemenis and left 40,000 others wounded.
McGoldrick told reporters in Sana’a last month that the figure was based on casualty counts given by health facilities and that the actual number might be higher.
However, local sources say the Saudi war has so far claimed the lives of at least 11,400 Yemenis.