Yemeni army soldiers, backed by fighters from Popular Committees, have launched heavy missile and artillery attacks against several Saudi border military bases, inflicting significant casualties and damage on them, a report says.
According to a report by Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, the Yemeni forces on Sunday carried out a major offensive against Tabat al-Hamrah, al-Qamamah, Qaem Zabid, al-Shabaka, al-Kers bases and the strategic al-Ghavieh military camp, destroying or damaging many armored vehicles and military equipment.
The surprise attacks also killed and wounded dozens of Saudi troops, it further said, adding that a number of senior Saudi military officials were also slain in the offensive. The operation forced the remaining Saudi troops to flee their bases, leave behind some burning arsenals and taking refuge in the town of al-Khobe in the kingdom’s southwestern province of Jizan.
The Yemeni forces, however, managed to seize a considerable amount of weapons from the bases during the attacks, which lasted from early morning to the afternoon.
The Yemeni forces also killed at least 14 Saudi mercenaries and injured 22 more during a battle near the strategic Bab al-Mandab strait, in southwest Yemen.
Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah fighters and their allies in Yemen’s army have been launching retaliatory attacks against parts of Saudi territory adjacent to northern Yemen, as well as the gatherings of Riyadh-allied militants inside Yemen.
A report by Reuters published in April last year showed that at least 400 Saudi soldiers had been killed in the cross-border fire since the start of the campaign in March 2015. Riyadh has maintained a policy of ambiguity regarding its casualties in the war on Yemen. Senior military officials have said that they would not release such information until after the campaign.
Saudi war machine breathes fire
Other Yemeni outlets also reported that some Saudi frigates had on Sunday bombarded the Yemeni coastal cities of Zobab and Mokha, in the southwestern province of Ta’izz, using banned white phosphorous munitions. There were no immediate reports of casualties and the extent of damage.
Meanwhile, according to an AFP report, citing unnamed sources, Saudi warplanes, Apache attack helicopters and pro-Riyadh militants had killed at least 52 Yemeni people around Bab al-Mandab strait during the past 24 hours.
It further added that a hospital in the city of Hudaydah had received 14 dead on Saturday and 38 more on Sunday, as well as 55 wounded.
Saudi Arabia has been engaged in the deadly campaign against Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to bring back Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, to power and undermine the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The Saudi war has so far claimed the lives of at least 11,400 Yemenis, and taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said recently that Saudi military aggression against Yemen has killed nearly 1,400 Yemeni kids, injuring hundreds more.
Rights groups have described the United States and the United Kingdom as complicit in the bloodletting given their provision of deadly weapons to the Saudi regime during the bombardment campaign.