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Saudi-led Coalition Hits Yemen Rebel Camp in Ramped-up Air War
Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition forces in Yemen, at the televised press conference, Dec. 26, 2021. (Screenshot: YouTube)

Saudi-led Coalition Hits Yemen Rebel Camp in Ramped-up Air War

Hizbullah is a ‘cancer’ that ‘spreads destruction in the region and the world,’ spokesman says

The spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, in a briefing that lasted close to an hour on Sunday afternoon, launched a barrage of attacks on Iran and the Lebanese group Hizbullah, accusing the latter of training rebel Houthi fighters and using the Sanaa airport to target Saudi Arabia.

Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki, in a televised press conference, presented satellite images of Houthis using the airport to fire ballistic missiles against the kingdom.

“Hizbullah is a cancer in Lebanon” that acts to “spread destruction in the region and the world,” the Royal Saudi Air Force general said.

He also accused the Houthis’ biggest supporter of spreading chaos in the region. “Iran feeds sectarian ideology in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon,” Maliki said.

The Houthis announced Sunday that they would carry out a “widespread military operation,” a day after firing missiles at “very important and sensitive sites” in Saudi Arabia’s Jazan region, located on the Red Sea Coast.

The Saudi-led Arab coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen said Sunday it targeted positions belonging to the Houthi camp in the capital Sanaa, as it steps up its aerial bombing campaign against the insurgents.

The coalition also claims that it had destroyed an explosives-laden boat in the southern Red Sea before it could carry out an attack, Saudi state television reported on Thursday, citing a coalition statement. The coalition, which backs Yemen’s internationally recognized government against the Houthis in a civil war that began seven years ago, said it destroyed weapons storehouses in the rebel-held capital.

“The operation in Sanaa was an immediate response to an attempt to transfer weapons from Al-Tashrifat camp in Sanaa,” it said in a statement, adding that it “destroyed weapons warehouses.”

The coalition has intensified its attacks on the Yemeni capital over the past month, accusing the rebels of storing weapons in civilian buildings.

In his press conference, Maliki stressed that “the political solution in Yemen is the best solution,” explaining that “the Houthi militia has rejected all United Nations efforts to solve the crisis politically.”

The spokesman added, “The war in Yemen is ideological, social and sectarian, as is the case in Lebanon.”

“More than 30,000 Houthis have been killed since the beginning of the year,” he said.

The Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al-Jaber, charged that the rebels were using Iranian weapons to target the kingdom, which calls the Houthis a Hizbullah-like force in its backyard.

“Using an Iranian weapon launched from Yemen, the Houthi militia killed two civilians … another criminal and terrorist act,” Al-Jaber tweeted Saturday.

Yemen’s war began with the 2014 takeover of Sanaa by the Houthis, who control much of the country’s north. The Saudi-led coalition entered the fight in 2015, determined to restore the government and oust the rebels. The conflict has since become a regional proxy war that has killed tens of thousands of civilians and fighters.

The war has also created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, leaving millions suffering from food and medical care shortages and pushing the country to the brink of famine.

More than 80% of Yemen’s population of about 30 million requires humanitarian assistance.

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