Yemeni forces kill 52 Saudi mercenaries east of Sana’a
Yemeni forces have reportedly clashed with Saudi-backed militants loyal to the former government in the northern province of Sana’a, killing over 50 of the mercenaries.
A military source, requesting not to be named, said the militants loyal to the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, launched an offensive on Saturday to wrest control of Nihm district, east of the capital, Sana’a, Saba news agency reported.
However, Yemeni army forces and their allies thwarted the assault and killed 52 Saudi-backed mercenaries in the process.
The source added that the pro-Riyadh militants have left the dead bodies of 17 comrades unattended in the area and withdrawn to a nearby region.
The development came on the same day that the UN-brokered peace talks on the Yemeni conflict ended without an agreement in Kuwait. The negotiations between delegates from the Houthi Ansarullah movement and the former Yemeni government had begun on April 21.
The two sides had agreed on a ceasefire, which went into effect at midnight on April 10 in Yemen, before the peace talks started, but Houthis say the Saudi military, which is backing the pro-Hadi side in the conflict, has on numerous occasions violated the truce.
In response to the Saudi raids, Yemeni forces fired several mortar shells at al-Jalah military base in the kingdom’s southern border region of Jizan on Saturday, leaving a Saudi soldier dead.
Yemeni army soldiers also struck the al-Tal’a military base in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Najran region on Saturday, sending four military vehicles up in flames.
Moreover, Yemeni forces and allied fighters from Popular Committees launched more than 50 mortar shells at al-Shorfa and al-Riqabah military camps in Najran, though there were no reports of possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.
A Yemeni journalist looks at a school destroyed in a Saudi airstrike in the southwestern city of Ta’izz, Yemen, on July 27, 2016. ©Reuters
Separately, four civilians were injured when Saudi fighter jets bombarded Shaqra town in Yemen’s southern province of Abyan.
The warplanes also pounded al-Maton District in the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf, but no casualties were reported.
Yemen has been under Saudi military strikes since late March 2015. The war was launched in a bid to undermine the Ansarullah movement and to reinstate Hadi, who has stepped down as Yemen’s president but is now seeking to grab power by force.