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The bombardment targeted military sites and ballistic missile warehouses in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital of Sana’a. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: An Arab alliance, fighting the Al Houthi militia in Yemen, had mounted a series of airstrikes against the rebels’ arms depots, Saudi media reported, amid spiralling drone attacks by the Iran-aligned rebels into Saudi Arabia.

The bombardment targeted military sites and ballistic missile warehouses in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital of Sana’a.

The militia has used hospitals and civilians in Sana’a as human shields, the media quoted the coalition as saying.

The alliance added that a major site of rebel ballistic missiles in Sana’a has been destroyed. “The operation in Sana’a targeted secret sites of ballistic missiles,” it said.

The alliance has recently announced carrying out a large-scale air operation in several rebel-held areas in Yemen after Al Houthis stepped up their attacks on civilian facilities in neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

The rebels have plunged Yemen into a devastating war after they unseated the internationally recognised government and seized some parts of the impoverished country including Sana’a in late 2014.

In March 2015, Saudi Arabia led a military campaign in Yemen in response to a request from the government there.

Meanwhile, on Sunday Yemen’s government it is confident of holding the strategic city of Marib despite sustained attacks from Houthis which killed thousands on both sides in recent months.

Government is holding Marib

Marib, the internationally-recognised government’s last bastion in northern Yemen, is an “impenetrable wall”, Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak said, speaking at the Manama Dialogue security forum in Bahrain.

The Houthis have intensified their fight for Marib this year, but have come under heavy bombardment from the Saudi-led military coalition supporting the government.

Bin Mubarak warned that if the city - which is key to controlling Yemen’s significant oil and gas resources - fell, it would be a disastrous setback. “The fall of Marib will mark the end of the political process and peace efforts in Yemen,” he said.

“It has become one of the most strategic priorities for the Iranian regime and its proxies in the region.”

Bin Mubarak said Yemen was “one of the pillars of Iran’s expansionist programme”, warning of a “new phase of conflict and a new cycle of violence and chaos” in the region if the Huthis are successful.