Tens of thousands of Yemenis have taken to the streets of the capital, Sana’a, to hold a funeral procession for a senior official from the Houthi Ansarullah movement who was killed in a Saudi airstrike.
The Yemenis gathered in Sana’a on Saturday to pay tribute to Saleh al-Samad, the chairman of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, who lost his life in a Saudi air raid on his residence in the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah on April 19.
The Lebanese al-Mayadeen television channel reported a Saudi strike near the funeral ceremony but there were no immediate reports of possible casualties.
The channel also said Yemeni forces fired eight Badr 1-type ballistic missiles at “economic and vital targets” in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Jizan region in retaliation.
The missile had precisely hit the targets, according to the report. Saudi Arabiya TV quoted the defense ministry as saying four missiles bound for the province had been intercepted
Samad was an influential figure in Yemen’s resistance against a more-than-three-year-old war imposed by Riyadh on the impoverished country. He was also number two on the Saudi-led coalition’s most wanted list.
Houthi leader Abdul-Malik Badreddin al-Houthi held the US and Saudi Arabia responsible for Samad’s killing, saying, “This crime won’t go unanswered.”
Yemen’s Defense Ministry also vowed a “crushing response” to the assassination of the Houthi official.
In a separate development, Saudi media reported that several Houthi figures had been killed in an airstrike on Sana’a on Friday evening.
Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television network said a total of 38 Houthis had lost their lives in the strike that had targeted an interior ministry building.
Riyadh-based Al Ekhbariya TV channel also said two high-ranking Houthits were among the victims.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war in March 2015 in support of Yemen’s former Riyadh-friendly government and against the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which is currently running state affairs.
The military campaign has killed and injured over 600,000 civilians, according to the latest figures released by the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights.
Several Western countries, the US and the UK in particular, are accused of being complicit in the aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment.