Saudi coalition launch airstrikes against key Houthi military installations in Yemen

The Saudi-led-coalition struck key military targets belonging to the Houthis in the capital, Sanaa, Yemen in the early hours of Sunday, reports claimed.

The raids come after the Houthis claimed responsibility for drone attacks on an oil refinery in the Saudi capital, Riyadh which caused a fire that was brought under control.

On Saturday, the coalition said it intercepted and destroyed an explosive-laden drone launched towards the southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushait.

Reuters reported that coalition warplanes bombed areas housing Houthi military camps in southern Sanaa and a military manufacturing site in the north of the city.

Houthi-run Al Masirah television also reported coalition air strikes on the capital, including on Sanaa airport.

The rebels have stepped up attacks inside Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, in recent weeks. Saudi Arabia says it intercepts most of the drones and missiles that the Houthis launch at airports, air bases and energy infrastructure, but some do inflict damage.

The Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis since March 2015, months after the group seized Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. The war has ground into a deadlock since then, with Saudi Arabia facing international criticism for its indiscriminate air strikes.

The United Nations has described the situation in Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster with mass hunger, disease and poverty, largely caused by the war. The conflict has killed about 130,000 people.

In renewed diplomatic efforts to end the war, the United Nations and United States have urged the Houthis to turn to negotiations rather than military escalation.