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Yemeni Amalqa ("Giants") brigades fighters patrol in the streets of the city of Zinjibar in south-central Yemen, in the Abyan Governorate, on September 2, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Riyadh - The Saudi-led military coalition fighting Yemen’s pro-Iran Al Houthi militia said the militants have been transporting ballistic missiles and drones to the city of Dhamar in south-western Yemen. These drone depots were the targets of the recent Saudi air raids on the city.

The strikes were carried out in accordance with international law. “The [facility] was not on the ‘no strike list’ of sites in the city of Dhamar,” the coalition’s spokesman Turki Al Maliki told a press conference in Riyadh.

Al Maliki also said that the Saudi-UAE committee has worked to de-escalate the situation in multiple regions in Yemen. adding that Saudi forces had arrived in the Shabwa governorate and were working with the Yemeni government to de-escalate the situation. All Yemeni parties have responded to the call for de-escalation, he added.

Call for engagement

On Sunday, the UAE stressed the need for the Yemeni government and Southern Transitional Council to engage in the Saudi initiative to reduce tension in Aden. UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, tweeted that the way to move forward from current tensions is through Saudi-led dialogue.

Tensions have been high between STC forces and the Yemeni government in the southern Yemeni provinces.

Meanwhile, at the press conference yesterday, Al Maliki also showed videos of air strikes targeting Al Houthi sites, and presented statistics regarding the coalition’s intercepting and downing of Al Houthi drones.

The coalition’s spokesperson also said that Al Houthis have suffered heavy losses and the destruction of their military equipment in Yemen’s Kitaf region.

On Thursday, the UN Security Council condemned “in the strongest terms” the escalation of Al Houthi attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and called on the militias “to cease such attacks immediately and without preconditions”.

Also on Thursday, the Coalition intercepted and destroyed an Al Houthi drone launched from Yemen’s Saada towards Saudi Arabia, according to Al Maliki.

The coalition intervened in 2015 to support the government after the Iran-linked Al Houthis swept out of their northern stronghold to seize Sana’a and much of Yemen — the Arab world’s poorest nation.

— Agencies