Monday, May 11, 2015

Saudi-led coalition launches more airstrikes in Yemen

RIYADH --- The Saudi-led coalition’s air campaign has launched 130 airstrikes against the Houthis in the past 24 hours as part of the new Operation Restoring Hope, Saudi Defense Ministry spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said adding that the operations are continuing and the Houthi leaders will be unable to hide.

Asiri who was speaking at a press conference at Riyadh Airbase said the airstrikes hit 100 targets including command and control centres of the Houthis and the offices of 17 Houthi leaders. He said that 17 Houthi mastermind leaders were targeted in the most recent airstrikes, with the coalition also striking arms depots in Saada, near the Saudi border.

Asiri reiterated its calls for Yemeni civilians to evacuate the Houthi stronghold of Saada, accusing the militia group of hiding among civilians in the northwestern region, which has become the coalition’s main target for its continuous airstrikes.

The coalition's air campaign dubbed Operation Decisive Storm was launched on 26 March targeting the Houthi rebels and their allies – security forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

He also added that despite their increased focus on the north-west, the coalition is not neglecting operations in other Yemeni regions, citing the southwestern city of Aden – considered a stronghold for President Abedrabbu Mansour Hadi – as an example of another area to witness recent airstrikes.

He added, "Yemeni and Saudi citizens are equal", urging "people who have nothing to do with the Houthis to leave Saada."

Asiri said that the coalition will continue its airstrikes on Saturday night to advance their campaign against the Houthis "who hide among citizens and hospitals.

"Operation Decisive Storm has achieved its goals removing the threat to Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries," said a statement carried by the Saudi news agency SPA on 22 April

"With its end, the new Operation Restoring Hope begins with the following goals: continuing to protect civilians, continuing to fight terrorism and continuing to facilitate the evacuation of foreign nationals and to intensify relief and medical assistance to the Yemeni people." –end-

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