Saudi-led coalition continues to pound Yemen

Sanaa, July 4 (IANS) The Saudi-led coalition forces continued airstrikes on military targets in Yemen’s capital Sanaa on Saturday.

Local residents said the airstrikes began midnight Friday and lasted till Saturday dawn, hitting several military sites and air defence bases in Sanaa, Xinhua news agency reported.

The airstrikes hit an ammunition depot in Saref area in northern Sanaa, triggering a series of powerful explosions that shook residential neighbourhoods for more than two hours.

The overnight strikes also targeted three locations, including a school used by Houthi fighters in al-Jeraf residential quarter on the road to the Sanaa international airport, according to witnesses.

Houthi-controlled state-run Saba news agency reported that six people were killed in the fresh air raids.

The Arab coalition also pounded Houthi militias in the southern port city of Aden and Red Sea port of al-Hodayda, as well as Taiz, Shabwa, Marib, al-Jouf and Saada provinces.

On the ground, battles intensified between Houthis and pro-government tribal fighters in several cities, said official sources.

The sources noted that at least 26 Houthis were killed Friday night in the oil-rich Marib province and 20 others were killed in the Red Sea port city of al-Hodayda.

Meanwhile, Houthi sources said their leadership was considering to form a military council and a government to replace the exiled government that is taking refuge in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

On March 26, the Saudi-led coalition began daily airstrikes against Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullash Saleh, aiming to restore the authority of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

More than three months of airstrikes and battles halted power and food supplies in the country which has caused a severe humanitarian crisis.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) started distribution of food across the front lines in the southern port of Aden, a main battlefield between the warring parties.

The ICRC said in a statement on Friday that a consignment of more than 160 tonnes of food will cover the emergency needs of 17,500 people.

Around half of Aden’s population is displaced from their homes, seeking shelter in whatever space is available in the town, it added.

Meanwhile, a UN statement said on Friday that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had been able to get basic relief to 56,369 people and plastic sheeting for emergency shelters to a further 7,000 families who had been staying in collective centres in May and June.


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