World Yemen rebels claim Saudi strikes, threaten new attacks
US to Yemen’s Houthis: Stop attacking, start negotiating
Washington calls Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia ‘unacceptable’ and urges the Yemeni group to engage in talks.The leaders of the Houthi movement “need to quite simply stop attacking and start negotiating”, Department of State spokesman Ned Price said on Monday.
Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels on Sunday claimed the attempted strikes that targeted neighbouring Saudi Arabia overnight and threatened more attacks, as fighting in the grinding civil war escalates.
Huthi fighters have intensified operations against the kingdom as air strikes by the Saudi-led military coalition pound rebel positions in the north of Yemen, in a bid to stop their offensive to seize the government's last northern stronghold of Marib.
Saudi-led coalition jets pound Yemen capital after Huthi strikes
A Saudi-led military coalition mounted air strikes on Yemen's Huthi-controlled capital Sanaa on Sunday after it intercepted a string of drones launched by the Iran-backed rebels, state media reported. The developments mark a new escalation in Yemen's six-year conflict between the coalition-backed Yemeni government and the rebels, despite a renewed US push to end the conflict. The strikes triggered huge explosions in Sanaa and sent plumes of smoke rising in the sky, according to AFP correspondents at the scene. The rebels reported seven air strikes on the city.
Years of war have already pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.
Saudi Arabia -- which has been backing the Yemeni government against the rebels since 2015 -- said Saturday it thwarted a Huthi missile that targeted Riyadh.
"The operation was carried out with a ballistic missile and 15 drones... targeting sensitive areas in the enemy's capital of Riyadh," said Huthi spokesman Yahya al-Saree, according to the rebels' Al-Masirah TV channel.
"Our operations will continue and will expand as long as the aggression and seige on our country continues."
Yemen famine could threaten opportunity for peace, UN warns
UN Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths also called for a stop to a Houthi offensive on the government-held city of Marib.UN Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths also called for a stop to an offensive by the Houthi movement on the government-held city of Marib, warning on Thursday that “the quest for territorial gain by force threatens all of the prospects of the peace process”.
Fragments of the missile scattered over several Riyadh neighbourhoods, damaging at least one home but no casualties were reported, Saudi's state-run Al-Ekhbariya television said.
AFP correspondents in the Saudi capital reported hearing multiple loud explosions, with state television footage showing the night sky light up with a bright flash.
Separately, the coalition said it had intercepted six Huthi drones targeting the kingdom, including the southern cities of Khamis Mushait and Jizan.
Video: U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia put to the test following Khashoggi report (MSNBC)
Saree on Sunday claimed those attacks as well, warning residents in the region to "stay clear from all military airports and sites."
- 'Catastrophe' -
The Huthis have escalated cross-border attacks on the kingdom even after the United States delisted the rebels as terrorists, reversing a decision by the administration of former president Donald Trump.
US reaffirms Saudi 'defence partnership' in face of Huthi attacks
Washington has reaffirmed its "strategic defence partnership" with Riyadh in the face of increased attacks by Yemeni rebels but the move came in a call from the Pentagon not the White House. US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin condemned the Huthi attacks in a telephone conversation Thursday with his Saudi counterpart, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the official Saudi Press Agency and a Pentagon statement said. The conversation came after the White House announced on Tuesday that President Joe Biden's first telephone call to Saudi leaders would be to King Salman, and not his son, the crown prince, who is the kingdom's de facto leader but has a tarnished rep
The designation had been widely criticised by aid organisations, who warned it would hamper their efforts to alleviate a humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
US President Joe Biden halted support to Saudi offensive operations in Yemen's war, which he called a "catastrophe" that "has to end".
But he has also reiterated US support for Saudi Arabia in defending its territory.
On Sunday, in the latest violence in Yemen, five civilians including a child were killed when their home was destroyed in a bombardment near the strategic rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeida.
The warring sides traded blame over who was responsible, with the government accusing Huthis of firing a mortar bomb, and the rebels saying the explosion was caused by twin air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition.
Alongside the cross-border attacks, the Huthis are pressing ahead with a offensive to seize the government-held Marib region, where some of the country's richest oil fields are found.
Hundreds of fighters from both sides have been killed in recent ferocious fighting, government source say.
The Huthis now control most of the country's north and the government has been struggling to defend Marib province and the city, which lies some 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of the rebel-held capital Sanaa.
Yemen's conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions, according to international organisations, sparking what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
The UN on Monday hopes to raise $3.85 billion to support millions of civilians and prevent famine in the country.
Yemen govt accuses rebels of using civilians as human shields .
Yemen's Saudi-backed government accused Huthi rebels Saturday of using civilians as human shields in their renewed offensive against its last major toehold in the north. The city lies close to some of Yemen's richest oil fields and its capture would be major prize for the rebels. But the fighting has raised fears for the hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians sheltering in camps in the surrounding desert that extends to the Saudi border.Loyalist military officials told AFP the rebels had been using residents of Al-Zor camp in the province's Sirwah district as "human shields" since their capture of the area last week.