Houthi Allies Launch Missile at S. Arabia

Houthi Allies Launch Missile at S. ArabiaHouthi Allies Launch Missile at S. Arabia

Yemeni forces allied to the Houthis fired a ballistic missile toward southern Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, a local TV channel said, as combat between the kingdom and Houthi forces has intensified.

“The Yemeni Army fired a Scud ballistic missile toward Jizan,” Al Maseera TV reported on its twitter page, Reuters reported.

Residents in the capital Sana’a reported hearing a big roar as the Scud was launched from near the city, followed by Saudi-led airstrikes on a presidential palace and a military depot for rockets.

A Saudi-led Arab military coalition began bombing Yemen in late March to restore fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to power and repel Houthi forces who took control of Sana’a in September and forced Hadi and his government into exile in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

The Houthis say their rise to power is a revolution against corrupt officials beholden to Saudi Arabia and the West.

Scud missiles had been launched at Saudi Arabia by Yemeni forces twice before during the five-month war but was shot down by American-provided Patriot missiles both times.

Two Saudi soldiers and a brigadier general were killed this week in border fighting along the kingdom’s long frontier with northern Yemen, a heartland of the Houthis.

Yemeni state news agency Saba said Saudi-led warplanes launched over 100 airstrikes in Saada Governorate on Tuesday alone.

Human Rights Watch said in June that months of air attacks had hit markets and homes, killing dozens of Yemeni civilians and possibly violating the laws of war.

 ICRC Suspends Activity in Aden

The International Committee of the Red Cross, or ICRC, said on Tuesday it had suspended its operations in Yemen’s war-ravaged second city of Aden after gunmen stormed its office there.

“Gunmen stormed our sub-delegation in Aden (on Monday) and held our staff at gunpoint,” spokeswoman Rima Kamal said. “We have as a result temporarily suspended our operations in Aden.”

The assailants stole “cars, cash and equipment,” Kamal said, adding that ICRC had evacuated 14 of its employees from Aden to other provinces. She said it was not immediately possible to identify the assailants.

“They will continue to support our Yemen operation from other locations.”

Kamal said the ICRC team in Aden has been caught up in “at least 10 such incidents in the last couple of weeks.”

“ICRC calls on all parties on the ground to respect the group’s strictly neutral and impartial work and not to obstruct it or prevent it from helping people in need.

Another ICRC spokesman, Adnan Hizam, said that personnel “were unharmed and are in good health.”

An ICRC statement said that since late March, the organization has stepped up its activities in Yemen, providing vital humanitarian support to around a million people in Aden.

The port city was the scene of months of intense fighting between troops loyal to Hadi and Houthi forces.

Meanwhile, local militant groups are using the power vacuum in Yemen to ramp up attacks in the Arab world’s poorest country and boost their insurgency in the region.

On Saturday, Al-Qaeda militants were accused of blowing up a building used by the secret police.

They also set up checkpoints in one district and seized five buildings including an intelligence services facility, a presidential residence and a military hospital, security officials said.

Last week, Aden Governor Nayef al-Bakri survived a rocket attack that killed four people and wounded 20 others. The assailants were not identified but the attack bore the hallmark of Al-Qaeda offensives.