Fresh air strikes target Houthi militias in Yemen

The Arab coalition has stepped up raids on Houthis and their allies since a humanitarian ceasefire ended last week

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Saudi-led warplanes launched a fresh wave of air strikes across Yemen on Saturday targeting Iran-backed militias as fighting raged on the ground in the south of the country, witnesses said.

The air raids pounded arms depots under the control of the Houthi militias in the locality of Ghula, in Omran province north of Sanaa, residents said, according to AFP.

They followed similar bombardments of weapons storage facilities in the capital that sparked deadly explosions, and strikes on the Dhabwa military base, which is currently under rebel control.

Meanwhile, Saudi forces and Yemen's Houthi militia traded heavy artillery fire which destroyed part of the main border crossing between the two countries overnight.

The Haradh border crossing, the largest for people and goods between Saudi Arabia and its neighbor, was evacuated amid shelling which razed its departure lounge and passport section, witnesses told Reuters news agency.

Meanwhile, in the western Yemeni province of Hodaida, a military airport was twice bombed by coalition warplanes, according to residents.

The Arab coalition has stepped up raids on positions held by the Houthis and their allies since a humanitarian ceasefire ended late on Tuesday.

At Hajja in the north of the country, a gathering of Houthis was struck, killing at least 12 of the Shiite fighters, witnesses reported.

Air strikes also attacked rebel positions in Dhamar, officials there said, while tank and mortar fire sounded across some sectors of the central region where heavy fighting took place, according to tribal sources.

In southern Yemen, warplanes targeted rebels locked in combat with tribesmen in Ataq, the capital of Shabwa province, military officials said.

The fighting killed at least 28 people, including 17 Houthis and 11 tribesmen, the sources said.

In Aden, clashes raged in the north, east and west of the port city between rebels and fighters loyal to President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, military sources said.

The Saudi-led coalition launched the air campaign against the Houthis on March 26 after the Houthi militias seized the capital and advanced on Hadi's stronghold of Aden, forcing him to flee to Riyadh.

The United Nations, which plans to hold a conference on Yemen in Geneva next week, says the violence has killed more than 1,000 people and displaced close to half a million more.

[With AFP]