Sanaa launches air attack on Shiite villages
Yemen's air force attacked Shiite rebels in the country's northern region Tuesday, according to Agence France Presse.
Sanaa reportedly targeted the Shiite villages of Salata, Sahab, and Bani Maymum, according to an army official.
"The air raids are aimed at easing pressure on army positions at Jabal Al Dhine, where Huthis and their tribal allies carried out repeated attacks against troops over the past three days," the military official told AFP.
The attack comes in response to the "collapse of a short-lived truce," according to AFP's local and military official sources. The truce, which lasted a mere 11 days, was meant to end fighting between Shiite Houthis and government troops vying for control over the strategic mountain Jabal Al Dhine.
It is not yet clear how many people have been killed in the offensive, but AFP's local and tribal sources say that dozens have been killed since Sunday.
The mountain is strategic in that it oversees the main road that connects Yemen's capital to the Shiite stronghold, Amran. Houthis most recently blocked this road Tuesday, and previously cut some of the country's major power lines.
The Shiite rebels are allegedly trying to expand their power and control in the country's north ahead of Yemen's official implementation of the six region federation plan, which would divide the country into six autonomous regions. The plan has come under scrutiny due to the fact that many see the plan as dividing the country into "rich and poor regions."
The plan, which was agreed upon in February this year, is not the first time that Houthis have clashed with Sanaa. The Shiite minority has been in conflict with the Yemeni government for years over accusations of marginalization and discrimination.