Riyadh and its allies carried out airstrikes in response to an attack by Houthi rebels on a Saudi oil depot on Friday
Saudi Arabia and its allies in the so-called Arab coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen have launched a new military operation in the war-torn country. The decision was taken following an attack by Houthi missiles and drones on Saudi oil depots on Friday.
On Saturday, the coalition carried out airstrikes on Yemen’s Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa, and the main port city, Hodeidah. According to Saudi state media, Riyadh’s military operation aims to “protect global energy sources and secure supply chains.“The campaign is seemingly endless, with the coalition insisting it will continue until all of its goals have been achieved.
Riyadh and its allies warned the Houthis that they would have to suffer the consequences of their “hostile behavior,with state media quoting officials as saying the coalition “address threat sources directly.“Saudi authorities have reportedly warned Yemeni civilians to stay away from all oil installations in Hodeidah.
According to the Yemeni television channel Al Masirah, Arab coalition warplanes have already struck the premises of an electricity company and several oil installations in the port city, and residents quoted by Reuters spoke of an aerial bombardment in around. Airstrikes in Sanaa have also been reported.
The Saudi-led coalition launched its latest military operation after the Houthis targeted oil giant Saudi Aramco’s petroleum products distribution station in the city of Jeddah on Friday. The missile attack, for which the Houthis officially claimed responsibility, caused a massive fire, but no casualties were reported. Additionally, the Yemeni armed group said it attacked Ras Tanura and Rabigh oil refineries using drones. The coalition claimed it managed to shoot down two such drones, allegedly launched from Hodeidah, in the skies over Yemen.
The Houthis said the missile strikes were intended to force Saudi Arabia to end what they describe as a siege on Yemen. Several other oil and gas facilities have also been attacked recently, with the Saudi Aramco factory in Jeddah being hit for the second time in two weeks. On the latest occasion, missiles rained down on the city as it hosted its first Formula 1 racing event.
The latest escalation is the continuation of a bloody seven-year war in Yemen, which began with a conflict between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and Shia Houthi rebels. However, in March 2015, a coalition of states led by Saudi Arabia and heavily backed by the United States and the United Kingdom intervened, carrying out massive airstrikes against the Houthis, who the Saudis say are backed. by Iran. Tehran has always denied any involvement. Riyadh’s declared endgame in the conflict is the reinstatement of ousted Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who was elected in 2012 in a single-member ballot.
The Saudi intervention has had a devastating effect on Yemen, with some 400,000 people killed by the end of 2021, according to UN estimates. International observers say children under the age of five make up a large proportion of the victims, many of whom are believed to have died from “indirectcauses including hunger, disease and lack of medicine amid a blockade on Yemen’s ports.