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Houthis resist Saudi incursion into northern Yemen

Houthi fighters have managed to repel Saudi forces trying to infiltrate the northern Yemen’s rugged Sa’ada province, killing a number of Saudi soldiers.

According to a statement released by Yemen’s Houthis on Tuesday, Saudi forces conducted several military operations in the morning with the intention to creep into Shada border region in northern Yemen via the southwestern Saudi village of al-Jabiri ǿ some 600 miles (966 kilometers) from the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The statement, however, added that the Saudis’ morning operations ended in failure. At around 2 p.m. local time (1100 GMT) Saudi Arabia carried out another attack, which again resulted in failure. Fighters, meanwhile, set three Saudi military vehicles ablaze.

On Tuesday, Saudi fighter jets launched six air strikes on the districts of Matammah, Al-Hosoun Shenan, as well as Jebel Al-Aswad in the neighboring province of Al-Jawf.

The aerial bombardment destroyed many parts of Harf Sufyan district in Amran province — 150 kilometers (94 miles) northwest of the capital, Sana’a.

The conflict in northern Yemen began in 2004 between Sana’a and the Houthi fighters. The conflict intensified in August 2009 when the Yemeni army launched Operation Scorched Earth in an attempt to crush the fighters in the northern province of Sa’ada.

As a pretext for the operation, the government accused the fighters of breaking the terms of a ceasefire by taking foreign visitors hostage in 2009.

The Houthis accuse the Yemeni government of the violation of their civil rights, political, economic and religious marginalization as well as large-scale corruption.

On November 3, the kingdom joined the Yemeni government and Saudi jets began bombing Houthi positions the following day.

Houthi fighters say that Riyadh pounds Yemeni villages and indiscriminately targets civilians. According to the fighters, Saudis use unconventional weapons such as white phosphorus bombs against civilians in northern Yemen.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that since 2004, up to 175,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Sa’ada and take refuge in overcrowded camps set up by the United Nations.

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