Air­base hit in rebel-held Ye­men cap­i­tal

Viet Nam News - - WORLD -

RIYADH — A Saudi-led coali­tion fighting in Ye­men said yes­ter­day it at­tacked an air­base in the rebel-held cap­i­tal Sanaa, a day af­ter the Saudi-backed gov­ern­ment of­fered to restart peace talks with the in­sur­gents.

“This op­er­a­tion in­cludes tar­get­ing of bal­lis­tic-mis­sile launch and stor­age lo­ca­tions... bomb-mak­ing and assembly work­shops and their sup­port lo­ca­tions in AlDail­ami Air­base in Sanaa,” coali­tion spokesman Turki al-Malki said in a state­ment.

He added that the ad­join­ing Sanaa in­ter­na­tional air­port was still open to air traf­fic from the United Na­tions and other relief agen­cies.

Call­ing the at­tacked struc­tures “le­git­i­mate mil­i­tary tar­gets”, Malki said he would pro­vide “ev­i­dence” of vi­o­la­tions by the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels later yes­ter­day.

The de­vel­op­ment comes a day af­ter the Ye­meni gov­ern­ment said it wel­comed “all ef­forts to re­store peace” fol­low­ing calls by key US of­fi­cials and the UN’s en­voy to Ye­men Martin Grif­fiths for war­ring par­ties to come to the ta­ble “within a month”.

US De­fence Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis and Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo have called for an end to the Ye­men war, in­clud­ing air strikes by the coali­tion.

Wash­ing­ton, a close Saudi ally, backs coali­tion forces by re­fu­elling their jets and sell­ing them weapons.

Saudi Ara­bia’s re­gional role has come un­der scru­tiny af­ter the killing in its Istanbul consulate last month of jour­nal­ist Ja­mal Khashoggi, a for­mer royal court in­sider-turned-critic and a colum­nist for the Wash­ing­ton Post.

Saudi Ara­bia and its al­lies entered the war in 2015 to bol­ster Ye­men’s in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised Pres­i­dent Abedrabbo Man­sour Hadi af­ter the Huthis took over Sanaa.

Since the in­ter­ven­tion, nearly 10,000 civil­ians have been killed, ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Other rights groups es­ti­mate the toll could be five times higher. — AFP

Ye­meni fight­ers loyal to the Shi­ite Huthi rebels ride on mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles dur­ing a parade in the cap­i­tal Sanaa on Oc­to­ber 16, 2018. — AFP/VNA Photo

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