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Yemen's Sanaa shakes again as Saudi-led coalition bombs air base


Devdiscourse News Desk Cairo
Updated: 19-12-2018 19:26 IST
Yemen's Sanaa shakes again as Saudi-led coalition bombs air base

File image of a bombed-out building in Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition bombed an air base in Yemen's rebel-held capital on Wednesday as a local cease-fire held around the Red Sea port city of Hodeida.

In comments aired by Saudi state-run TV, the coalition said it struck the air base next to Sanaa's international airport, destroying a rocket launcher and a drone that it said was preparing to carry out an attack.

Yemen's rebel-run al-Masirah TV said the airstrikes hit the base and surrounding areas. It was not immediately clear if there were any casualties.

The coalition, allied with Yemen's internationally-recognized government, has been at war with the Iran-aligned rebels, known as Houthis, for nearly four years.

Coalition airstrikes have killed thousands of people, while the Houthis have launched ballistic missiles into Saudi Arabia and attacked vessels in the Red Sea.

A fragile cease-fire this week halted months of heavy fighting in Yemen's port city of Hodeida, through which the country imports 70 per cent of its food and humanitarian aid. The war has generated the world's worst humanitarian crisis, driving Yemen to the brink of famine.

Yemeni officials said there was sporadic artillery and automatic weapons fire in parts of Hodeida, with the two sides accusing each other of violating the truce. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief media.

The coalition urged the UN to quickly deploy officers to oversee the withdrawal of the opposing forces from the city and its outskirts, warning that the truce could break down. A UN team led by a Dutch general is expected to travel to Hodeida later this week.

An aid group meanwhile said that more than half a million displaced people in Yemen face the "double threat" of famine and freezing temperatures as winter sets in.

Oxfam said some 530,000 displaced people are in mountainous areas, many living in makeshift shelters with no insulation or weatherproofing.

"Freezing temperatures could be the final straw for families already struggling to survive desperate hunger," said Muhsin Siddiquey, Oxfam's Yemen director.

Last week, an international group tracking Yemen's civil war reported that the conflict has killed more than 60,000 people, both combatants and civilians, since 2016.

That is much higher than the UN figure of 10,000 civilian deaths, and has added to the urgency to find a political resolution.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project said it based its figures on news reports. (AP) MRJ

MRJ

(With inputs from agencies.)

COUNTRY : Iran Islamic Rep.Yemen Rep.