Yemeni tribal leader defects from Houthi militias as army advances in Hodeidah

Saudi-Led Coalition Says It Attacked Airbase, Missile Sites in Sanaa Airport
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04 November, 2018

The attack targeted King Khalid air base in Khamis Mushait city in southwest the kingdom, said the rebel channel, adding the attack was "in retaliation for the Friday's Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on Sanaa International Airport in the (rebel-held) capital Sanaa".

A spokesman for the coalition said its forces attacked the global airport in the capital, Sanaa, and a nearby air base operated by the rebels, known as Houthis.

The secretary-general of the united Nations, Antonio Guterres had also called Friday to the end of the "violence" in order to avoid that the country does not fall into a "precipice".

Military officials said Saudi-led coalition warplanes carried out dozens of air strikes early Sunday to support pro-government forces in fighting that appear to be approaching the city's main university.

The Saudi-led military campaign has drawn criticism from the United Nations over widespread civilian casualties, and helped push Yemen to the brink of starvation.

After UN-backed peace talks collapsed in September, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Hodeida.

"We have evidence that today in Yemen every 10 minutes a child under the age of 5 is dying from preventable diseases and severe acute malnutrition", he told Reuters from Hodeidah.

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The UN says about 14 million people, or half Yemen's population, could soon be on the brink of starvation in a man-made disaster.

Later on Wednesday, Yemeni security and medical officials said an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition killed five civilians and wounded eight more just south of Hodeida.

Hodeida port is the entry point for more than 70 per cent of imports into the impoverished country, which is teetering on the edge of starvation.

Yemen has been at war since March 2015 when Houthi rebels occupied northern regions and forced the government into exile.

The Houthis had taken further steps in October to hinder the movement of several tribal leaders and pressure them to provide the militias with more fighters, according to sources. The war has left almost 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Both Tehran and the rebels deny the port is being used to smuggle arms from Iran into Yemen.


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