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Saudi-led coalition targets Houthi rebels in Yemen after Abu Dhabi attack

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More than a dozen people were killed by Saudi airstrikes on the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday night, in an apparent response to an attack on the capital of the United Arab Emirates by the Houthi militia earlier in the day.

The attack on Sanaa hit the home of Brig. Gen. Abdullah Qassem al-Junaid, former leader of the air force academy in Sanaa, and killed the general, along with his wife and son and five other members of the household, according to The Washington Post.

A total of 14 were killed and 11 injured in the strikes, per the Post. Rescue teams are still searching for survivors under building rubble.

The two airstrikes came hours after Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack earlier on Monday in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital, that killed three people and left six others wounded. Three petroleum tanker trunks exploded in Abu Dhabi, in addition to other explosions that led to a fire at the city’s airport.

In response to that attack, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said the Houthi militia would “be held accountable.”

“We condemn the Houthi militia’s targeting of civilian areas and facilities on UAE soil today. We reiterate that those responsible for this unlawful targeting of our country will be held accountable,” he said in a statement issued Monday. 

Saudi Arabia’s government-owned news agency Al Ekhbariya tweeted Monday: “In response to the threat and military necessity, air strikes begin in Sana’a. We targeted terrorist leaders north of the capital, Sana’a.”

 

The Houthis, who are supported by Iran, control the majority of north Yemen including Sanaa. Saudi Arabia and allies, including the UAE, have been batling the group since shortly after the group’s takeover of the Yemeni capital in 2015.

Nasraddin Amer, the deputy minister of information Sanaa, said Monday’s attacks were in response to the UAE escalating the war in Yemen. 

Tags Houthi rebels Saudi Arabia the United Arab Emirates Yemen Yemen war

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