Yemen rebels have fired mortars and launched rockets into Saudi Arabia. The incident on Tuesday morning resulted in the death of at least two civilians. According to initial reports, the Houthi rebels also captured five soldiers. This attack is now proving that the militants have the capability of short range rocket fire into Saudi Arabia, despite the airstrikes on rebel compounds that the nation’s air force conducted.
When the attack began, Saudi Arabia’s government cancelled flights that would travel near the border region of Najran and closed schools in the area that the firefight was taking place. Hundreds of families were displaced from Aden, Yemen, amid Houthi rebels advancing into their town, firing into crowds of unarmed civilians and raiding stores.
According to Yemeni tribal leaders, the Houthi attack on the region of Najran damaged buildings and homes and killed two civilians. A group of Yemen’s tribal leaders wanted to remain anonymous to reporters due to a fear of backlash from the Houthis. Flights from Saudia, the state-owned airline, has suspended all incoming and outgoing flights. There is currently no information regarding when the flights will resume.
Local reports showed footage of the carnage that were videos of burning cars, debris in streets, and the damage to the entire town. There were also reports that the rebels are currently holding five kidnapped Saudi soldiers, without certain demands or circumstances.
Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri commented on the Yemeni rebels launching rockets into the country, stating, that a Saudi-led offensive will soon respond to the attack.”What happened today is part of the chaos that the Houthi militias live with,” he said. Moreover, explained that he has put all options on the table to secure the country and drive out the rebels.
Tuesday’s attack emphasizes how the Islamic State-backed rebels have fully reached the ability of attacking other regions from afar. They have been conducting major insurgency operations despite a month-long Saudi-led airstrike, destroying caches of ammunition and other amenities. The coalition started running bombing missions on the Houthi insurgents and ISIS-backed militants in March. Between the bombing raids and fighting in the streets, hundreds have been killed and has pushed 300,00o Yemeni citizens out of the region and into other countries.
In Aden, the fighting continued between soldiers and the rebels as they advanced into the city’s Tawahi district. The skirmish forced hundreds of families to safer areas by crossing the river via makeshift boats. The residents that were unable to get out in time have been confined to their homes since the end of March.
Mona Abdel-Maged, a resident of Aden, stated a mortar shell killed her husband and six other men inside a building. She said that she would, “find torn limbs and body parts in the streets.” Sounds of gunfire and rocket blasts sent people running through the streets during the attack.
The United Nations and other international humanitarian aid agencies are attempting to help the impoverished countrymen and countrywomen in this disaster. A majority of the fighting in Aden, which was set to be a temporary capital. The battleground that is the streets of Aden has made the Yemeni public flee the town in attempt to reach safer areas in North Africa and Europe.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by Bruno Blasutto – Creativecommons Flickr License