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Coalition Resumes Airstrikes in Yemen  01/22 06:13

   The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen stepped up its bombing 
campaign Tuesday, launching airstrikes near the rebel-held capital in clashes 
that killed at least 35 people, Yemeni security officials said.

   SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen 
stepped up its bombing campaign Tuesday, launching airstrikes near the 
rebel-held capital in clashes that killed at least 35 people, Yemeni security 
officials said.

   It was the first time in months that coalition airstrikes hit Houthi targets 
in the district of Nehm, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) northeast of the capital 
Sanaa, said Houthi officials. 

   The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations..

   Throughout the day, both sides fired rockets and pounded the area with 
artillery. The heavy fighting killed and wounded dozens, and forced scores of 
families to flee. The number of civilian casualties was not immediately known. 
Video provided by Yemen's defense ministry showed large plumes of smoke rising 
over the mountains after the airstrikes. 

   Abdu Abdullah Magli, spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces, said the army 
made major progress on the ground, seizing several strategic roads and Houthi 
sites. The Houthis reinforced their outposts and deployed new troops to the 
front. 

   Meanwhile, coalition warplanes also bombed rebel targets west of the Marib 
province, killing several Houthi fighters and capturing over 25, according to 
Yemeni military officials. The Houthi faction declined to comment. 

   Magli said the wave of bombings comes in retaliation for a Houthi missile 
attack on a mosque in Marib that killed at least 116 Yemeni government troops 
over the weekend. The death toll ranked among the highest from a single rebel 
assault since the start of the war, sparking widespread condemnation. U.S. and 
U.N. officials warned that the military escalation could undermine peace 
efforts.

   Yemen's civil war erupted in 2014 when Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels 
seized Sanaa, along with much of the country's north, ousting President Abed 
Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Months later the Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened to try 
and restore Hadi's internationally recognized government. 

   The regional proxy war has dragged on for years, killing more than 10,000 
people, displacing over 3 million and pushing the country to the brink of 
famine. Fighting has settled into a bloody stalemate.

   International efforts to end the war have made little progress. Yet in 
recent months, Saudi Arabia started backchannel negotiations with the Houthis 
in Oman after the rebels claimed an attack on Saudi oil infrastructure that 
threatened global oil supplies. The United States blamed the attack on Iran, 
which denied involvement.


(KR)

 
 
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