Yemeni air force bombs rebel positions after ceasefire collapses
Yemeni air force fighter jets have bombed Shia Houthi positions north of the impoverished Arab country in fighting that claimed the lives of tens of people, local officials say.
A Yemeni government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Yemeni war planes flew sorties and pounded Houthi positions around the city of Amran, located 52.9 kilometers (32.9 miles) northwest of capital, Sana’a, early on Saturday.
Local authorities said “a large number of casualties” were caused in Saturday’s violence, including at least eight tribal fighters and four soldiers. The Houthis gave no figures for casualties on their side.
Meanwhile, tribal sources in the northern province of Al-Jawf said at least 18 people – ten Houthi members, five tribesmen and three soldiers – lost their lives during the clashes in the area on Friday.
Houthis blamed army units for the collapse of the June 23 ceasefire between the fighters and government forces on Friday, when Yemeni troops advanced on the town of Al-Safra in Al-Jawf.
An unnamed official, however, said the army’s advance came after Houthi members failed to vacate positions in the area in compliance with the ceasefire.
Yemen’s Houthi movement draws its name from the tribe of its founding leader Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi. The Shia fighters blame the government for the political, economic, and religious marginalization of the country’s Shia community and violating their civil rights.
The Houthi movement played a key role in the popular revolution that forced former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in February 2012.