The Saudi Arabia-led military coalition in Yemen carried out several attacks on the country’s Capital Sana’a on Thursday, killing six civilians and injuring dozens, Reuters reported. The city is controlled by Houthi rebels backed by Iran.
The attack came two days after the rebels struck two key oil-pumping stations and a pipeline in Saudi Arabia, escalating tensions in the region and potentially disrupting international efforts to end the civil war.
The Saudi coalition’s airstrikes targeted nine military sites in and around the city, unidentified residents told Reuters. Witnesses also said many houses were damaged and a body was lifted out of the rubble of one home.
A coalition statement telecast by the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV said the purpose of the attack was to neutralise “the ability of the Houthi militia to carry out acts of aggression”. It urged civilians to avoid these targets and said: “The sorties achieved its goals with full precision.”
Abdulrazaq Mohammed, a resident of Sana’a, said the intensity of an explosion in the city was very evident. “The explosion was so strong that stones were flying,” he told Reuters. “This is the first time our house shakes so much.”
After Tuesday’s attack on the Saudi oil stations, the Houthis said that it was a response to alleged crimes committed by Riyadh during the civil war. The United Nations and human rights groups have repeatedly called for an end to the conflict.
Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates, leads a regional coalition of Sunni Muslim nations fighting the northern Shia Houthi rebels backed by Iran. The coalition’s stated goal is to restore the government that the Houthis ousted in late 2014. The coalition is also backed by the United States, which provides intelligence and logistical support, as well as weapons worth billions of dollars.