A Saudi-led coalition on Sunday mounted a series of airstrikes on Yemen’s rebel-held capital Sanaa amid an increase in attacks by the Houthi rebels against neighboring Saudi Arabia, residents said.
Yemen has been roiled by a devastating power struggle between a Saudi-backed government and the Iran-aligned Houthis since late 2014.
In 2015, the Saudi-led coalition started a military campaign against the Houthis in Yemen.
On Sunday, the coalition unleashed at least 12 air raids in different parts of Sanaa, resulting in heavy explosions, local residents said.
At least four civilians were injured in the bombardment, pro-Houthi television al-Masirah said.
The Saudi-led coalition confirmed the strikes, describing them as painful.
“The military operation targets the Houthi capabilities in the occupied capital Sana’a and a number of [Yemeni] provinces,” the coalition, said, according to the official Saudi news agency SPA.
Earlier Sunday, the coalition said it had intercepted and destroyed 10 drones fired by the Houthis targeting civilians in the oil-rich monarchy.
The coalition also destroyed two ballistic missiles launched by the rebels towards the Saudi border city of Jazan, Saudi state television al-Arabiya reported.
In recent weeks, Saudi Arabia has been the target of increasing drone and missile attacks by the Houthis.
Fighting has meanwhile intensified between the pro-government forces and the Houthis inside Yemen.
At least 70 Houthis rebels were killed in clashes between both sides in the province of Taiz in central Yemen, a pro-government military commander said on Sunday.
The fighting erupted after the Houthis had attacked government forces’ positions in Taiz, local commander Hamid al-Khalidi told dpa without citing casualties among government’s loyalists.
Last month, the rebels also initiated an offensive to capture Yemen’s energy-rich province of Marib from the government forces.
The United States called on the Houthis to end the Marib campaign.
U.S. President Joe Biden has declared an end to U.S. support for the military campaign in Yemen led by Saudi Arabia, a regional rival of Iran.
Biden also named longtime diplomat Tim Lenderking as U.S. special envoy for the country.
The conflict of more than six years in Yemen has pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine and wrecked its health facilities.
The United Nations has described Yemen as the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.