At least seven civilians have been killed and dozens more suffered injuries as Saudi fighter jets pounded the alleged strongholds of Houthi fighters in Yemen’s rugged northern region of Jebel Razih near the border with the oil-rich kingdom. According to a statement issued by the Shia Houthi fighters on Sunday, Saudi warplanes dropped several bombs on homes in the conflict area, as a result of which six members of a family lost their lives when their residence was destroyed during the airstrikes. Another local, Nasser Qaed al-Razihi, was killed and two of his family members sustained injuries when a bomb landed on their home. The statement added that Saudi forces also fired 626 rockets at the beleaguered areas of Jebel al-Madood, Qafarah, al-Majdaha, Qamamat, al-Malaheet, al-Minzala, and al-Jabiri in northern Yemen. Meanwhile, Yemen’s Shia Houthis on Sunday managed to repulse Yemeni government troops trying to infiltrate into al-Minzala. An unspecified number of government soldiers were killed in the battle. The conflict in northern Yemen between Sana’a and Houthi fighters began in 2004. The conflict intensified in August 2009 when the Yemeni army launched Operation Scorched Earth in an attempt to crush the fighters in the northern province of Sa’ada. The Houthis accuse the Yemeni government of violating their civil rights and marginalizing them politically, economically, and religiously. Saudi forces began fighting with Yemeni Shia resistance fighters, known as Houthis, and bombing their positions on November 4 after accusing the fighters of killing Saudi border guards. Houthi fighters say that Saudi forces strike Yemeni villages and indiscriminately target civilians. They also say that the Saudis are using toxic materials, including white phosphorus, in the attacks on northern Yemen. The US military has also been involved in the bombing of Yemen’s northern regions of Amran, Hajjah, and Sa’ada, according to the Houthi fighters. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that since 2004, up to 175,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Sa’ada and take refuge in overcrowded camps set up by the United Nations.
December 26, 2016