Houthi leader, 40 militias killed near Saudi border

Saudi soldiers fire artillery toward three armed vehicles approaching the Saudi border with Yemen in Jazan, Saudi Arabia, Monday, April 20, 2015. The Saudi air campaign in Yemen is now in its fourth week. (AP)

Saudi forces backed by aerial shelling from the Arab Coalition have killed an Iran-backed Houthi leader and 40 other militias near the kingdom’s southwestern borders with Yemen, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Thursday.

Saleh al-Houthi Mouawad Kibsi, the slain Houthi leader, was in charge of the militia’s military operation in the Yemeni region that borders the Saudi southwestern city of Najran.

It was reported that Kibsi was killed along with his brother and two of his companions.

Earlier Thursday, the Saudi-led Arab coalition also launched air strikes on Houthi sites in the capital Sanaa and surrounding area, targeting the militia’s air bases and arms warehouse.

Sources told Al Arabiya News Channel that the raids also targeted areas where Houthis carried out fierce battles against forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who had to flee the country after a Houthi coup in September 2014.

Since Tuesday, the Arab coalition resumed its Operation Restoring Hope against the Houthis and their allies loyal to deposed Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh after UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait ended without an agreement.

The operation was also renewed after the Houthis started launching operations on the Saudi borders, which Riyadh dubbed as a “red line”.

The Houthis and Saleh’s General People’s Congress (GPC) hold most of Yemen’s northern half while forces loyal to Hadi share control of the rest of the country with local tribes.

The fighting in which more than 6,400 people have been killed - half of them civilians - has created a humanitarian crisis in one of the poorest countries in the Middle East.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47