FRESH SAUDI-LED AIR STRIKES REPORTED IN YEMEN

Dust rises from the site of army weapons depots hit by an air strike in Sanaa April 18, 2015. (Reuters)
Dust rises from the site of army weapons depots hit by an air strike in Sanaa April 18, 2015. (Reuters)

Aden, 4 Rajab 1436/23 April 2015 (MINA) – The Saudi-led coalition has reportedly conducted fresh air strikes on Yemen, hours after it said it had ended a four-week air campaign against Houthi fighters.

The deputy governor of Aden, Nayef al-Bakri, told Al Jazeera quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA), that an air raid targeted tanks used by the Houthis and their allied forces in the southern port city.

Air strikes were also reported in the central city of Taiz, where Houthis seized the headquarters of a brigade loyal to the government.

The headquarters of the 35th Armoured Brigade on the city’s northern outskirts fell after heavy fighting on Wednesday which left “dozens dead and wounded”, an army officer told the AFP news agency from inside the base.

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Also on Wednesday, witnesses reported ground fighting between rebels and pro-government forces in Aden and the city of Lahj, the capital of Huta, and the southern town of Daleh.

The Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Yemen for almost a month said its military operation “Decisive Storm” had ended by midnight on Tuesday and that a new campaign aimed at protecting civilians and preventing Houthi fighters from operating had begun.

Brigadier-General Ahmed al-Asiri, the coalition’s spokesperson, said the coalition had achieved its military goals in Yemen and a new operation, called “Renewal of Hope”, would aim to protect civilians and combat “terrorism”.

However, Asiri did not rule out future air strikes against the Houthis and said the coalition would continue to impose a naval blockade on Yemen.

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defence had earlier said that all heavy weapons and ballistic missiles belonging to the Houthis had been destroyed, that they had imposed restrictions over Yemen’s airspace, and that any possible threats on the kingdom and neighbouring countries had been removed.

Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi gave a televised address from Riyadh, where he thanked the coalition partners for their support.

“I extend on my behalf and on behalf of the Yemeni people sincere thanks and appreciation for the Arab and Muslim brothers and our partners in the coalition for supporting legitimacy,” he said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on Tuesday that violence between March 19 and April 17 had killed 944 people and wounded 3,487, and warned that the impoverished nation’s health services were on the brink of collapse.

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The WHO said the number of patients able to access health facilities had plummeted since the escalation of hostilities, with a 40 percent drop in the number of daily consultations.

Prices of essential medicines have increased by more than 300 percent, and the shortage of water has increased the risk of diarrhoea and other diseases and is affecting basic hygiene in hospitals and clinics. (T/P001/R03)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

 

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