Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

The coalition says it is launching new raids on the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital, Sanaa, warning residents to stay away from targeted areas.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthi says it is launching airstrikes on “legitimate” military targets in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

In a statement on Saudi state media, the coalition on Wednesday called on civilians not to gather or approach around targeted areas.

It includes a building under construction in Sanaa which, according to the Houthis, is used as a secret laboratory for drones.

The plans for new raids come a day after Saudi Arabia-led forces bombed which it called a “secret” ballistic missile launch site in Sanaa.

It is not clear if there were any casualties in Tuesday’s raids.

The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis since 2015, when it intervened in the impoverished country to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after the Iran-aligned government ousted its government from the capital.

The Houthis have intensified cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia in recent months using drones and missiles. The rebel group said on Saturday it had launched 14 drones at several Saudi cities, including at Saudi Aramco facilities in Jeddah.

The latest clashes came when the United Nations warned that Yemen’s seven-year-old war would claim at least 377,000 lives by the end of the year.

The UN’s Development Program said in a new report on Tuesday that nearly 60 per cent of those deaths would be caused by the indirect effects of war, such as a lack of safe water, hunger and disease.

At least 150,000 people would have been killed in the fighting, it said.

The UN calls the conflict in Yemen the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world.

Fighting has escalated in recent weeks on several fronts, mostly near the strategic city of Marib, the internationally recognized government’s last major stronghold in Yemen’s oil-rich north.

Thousands of rebels and pro-government fighters have been killed in the battle for the city, which is home to three million people.

The UN refugee agency said in a separate statement on Tuesday that it was “seriously concerned about the safety and security of civilians in Yemen’s Marib governor, including more than one million people estimated to be displaced”.

Some 40,000 people have been forced to flee Marib since September, UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantoo said in Geneva.

“Health conditions such as acute watery diarrhea, malaria and upper respiratory tract infections are common among the newly displaced,” she said.

The International Organization for Migration, meanwhile, said Marib’s 137 relocation sites had seen an almost tenfold increase in new arrivals since September, with as many as 40 people sharing one small tent.

“We have not seen as much desperation in Marib over the past two years as we have in the past two months,” said IOM’s Yemen mission chief Christa Rottensteiner.

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