‘Decisive Storm’ targets Houthi camps in Sanaa

For the second day, fighter jets of the Saudi-led coalition forces on Friday pounded a Republican Guard camp in Sanaa

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Fighter jets of Saudi-led coalition forces pounded a Republican Guard camp in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa as Operation “Decisive Storm” continues for the second day targeting Houthi strongholds and their camps on Friday, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The offensive comes after powerful explosions rocked Sanaa Thursday night as the coalition forces carried out air strikes against the Shiite rebels who control Sanaa.

Saudi and Egyptian warships deployed Friday to the Bab al-Mandab strait off Yemen to secure the strategic sea passage, Egyptian military officials said, aiming to pave the way for possible ground operations, the Associated Press reported.

Earlier on Friday, Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh - who is allied with Houthi leaders and large parts of the army - called for a ceasefire and the resumption of U.N.-brokered dialogue between warring parties.

Witnesses said an air raid by the coalition forces targeted both Houthi members and supporters of Saleh in al-Istiqbal military camp west of the capital.

The Republican Guard troops are believe to be still loyal to Saleh, who in spite of seceding power in 2011 after mass protests against his rule, is still highly influential in the military.

Some Yemenis also see Saleh, a fierce critic of President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, as an instigator behind the expansion of the Shiite Muslim Houthi movement.

The witnesses also said that the coalition’s air raid also neutralized a military camp north of Sanaa, which reported back to Ahmed Ali Saleh, son of the former leader, who ruled Yemen for 33 years.

“Decisive Storm” also launched its air strikes south of Yemen where Houthis and their allies are trying to expand. They targeted al-Anad military camp, which the Houthis seized last Wednesday.

Tribal sources also said warplanes attacked two districts in the northern home province of Yemen’s rebel Houthi movement around dawn on Friday.

The strikes hit a market in Kataf al Bokaa in the north of Saada province, killing or wounding 15 people, they said. Shada district was also struck, they said.

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