Saudi warplanes attack the Houthis as the alliances change in the Yemen war – tech2.org

Saudi warplanes attack the Houthis as the alliances change in the Yemen war



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SANAA (Reuters) – Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighter aircraft attacked the Houthi militia positions in Sanaa, capital of Yemen, in support of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, an ex-president, on Monday for a second day in a row. Houthi ally who has now renounced his alliance with the Group supported by Iran.

A Houthi fighter travels in the back of a truck while clashes with forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh continue in Sanaa, Yemen on December 4, 2017. REUTERS / Khaled Abdullah

Houthis claimed Monday to have made steady profits on Saleh's forces after six days of heavy urban wars in Sanaain that have killed dozens of people.

But residents reported intense fighting during the night and in the morning, with families hiding in their homes as explosions shook the city. The coalition's air strikes hit Houthi positions in an apparent attempt to shore up Saleh's forces, witnesses said.

At the United Nations, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged the parties to the conflict to stop all ground and air badaults.

Guterres also called for the resumption of all commercial imports into Yemen, saying that millions of children, women and men are at risk of hunger, disease and mbad death.

The air campaign led by Saudi Arabia, backed by US and other Western weapons and intelligence, has killed hundreds of civilians but has failed to win the coalition with major advances in the nearly three-year military campaign to restore international recognition of Yemen. President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to power.

However, in a speech late on Sunday, Saleh formally quashed his alliance with the Houthis and pledged to intensify their struggle.

The realignment of Saleh's forces with the Saudis would mark a significant turn in a war that is part of a broader struggle between the regional powers, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Saleh, who dominated the heavily armed tribal society of Yemen for 33 years before leaving after the Arab Spring in 2011, and the Shiite Huothis had made a common cause against those loyal to Hadi.

A military vehicle used by Houthi fighters is stationed near Tahrir Square while clashes with forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh continue in Sanaa, Yemen on December 4, 2017. REUTERS / Khaled Abdullah

But competed for supremacy the territory they ran together, including the capital, which the Houthis seized in September 2014, and their fight erupted in open combat on Wednesday.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul Salam claimed significant gains in the battle for Sanaa on Monday.

"With the help and approval of God, the security forces backed by widespread popular support were able to clean up the areas where the militias of treason and treason were deployed last night," he said in a statement.

The television channel of the movement Houthi al-Masirah and witnesses said that their fighters had seized the house of the center of Saleh's nephew, Tareq, an army general.

Residents said that the opposing sides exchanged heavy artillery and automatic fire as the Houthis advanced into the Central Political District, which is a redoubt for Saleh and his family.

"We lived through days of terror, the Houthi tanks have been firing and the bombs were falling on our neighborhood," said Mohammed al-Madhaji, who lives in the frontline district.

"The struggle has been so violent that we feel we could die at any moment, we can not leave our homes."

Aid groups have said that the fighting has killed dozens of people, adding to the problems in one of the poorest countries in the Arab world inflicted by a war in which at least 10,000 have died as hunger and spread of the disease.

Houthi media and political sources also reported that the Houthis also advanced towards Saleh's birthplace in a town on the outskirts of the city where he maintains a fortified palace. His whereabouts were not immediately clear.

Writing by Noah Browning, edited by Angus MacSwan

Our standards: The principles of trust of Thomson Reuters.
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