Sana’a: A series of airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition shook Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, overnight and early Monday morning as dozens of families fled the capital seeking safety.
The strikes were targeting Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital since September and have overrun most of Yemen, forcing the Western-backed president to flee the country.
Meanwhile the rebels, known as Houthis, continued their military push south toward the port city of Aden, Yemen’s economic hub and the provisional capital declared by embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Monday marked the fifth day of the airstrike campaign against the Houthis and their allies - largely security forces loyal to deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. The strikes have targeted militants, jets, air defense systems and Scud missile launch pads that could threaten Saudi Arabia.
Several days of airstrikes have bred a climate of anxiety and uncertainty in Sanaa. Schools were canceled, residents sought shelter indoors, and hundreds fled to the safety of nearby villages.
As the strikes were taking place, Arab leaders meeting in Egypt for the two-day Arab League summit unveiled plans to form a joint Arab military intervention force - setting the stage for a potentially dangerous clash between U.S.-allied Arab states and Iran over influence in the region.