Riyadh: The Arab Coalition in Yemen led by Saudi Arabia on Saturday launched a ‘large-scale’ assault on Yemen after Houthi projectile that hit the Saudi city of Jazan has led to the killing of two civilians— a Saudi national and a Yemeni resident, the first such deaths in three years.
Yemeni Houthis regularly launch missiles and drones into neighbouring Saudi Arabia, targeting its airports and oil infrastructure. But the latest was the first in more than three years to result in fatalities in the kingdom, which recorded its first death in a Houthi missile attack when a missile hit Riyadh in 2018.
The coalition said on Saturday that it was “preparing for a large-scale military operation,” and later launched an airstrike against Houthi targets in northern Yemen.
“We destroyed weapons depots in the Tashreefat military camp, and the operation was an immediate response to the attempt to transfer weapons from the camp in Sanaa,” the coalition also said.
Earlier on Saturday, the coalition said it had carried out 40 operations targeting the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Marib and Al-Jouf, killing 223 fighters and destroying 17 military vehicles during the last 24 hours.
Yemen has been mired in civil war since September 2014 when the Houthi militia forced the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.
Since March 2015, the Arab coalition has been carrying out military operations in support of government forces in Yemen, to confront the Iranian-backed Houthis, who control several governorates, including the capital, Sanaa.
Several regions in Saudi Arabia are constantly being attacked by ballistic missiles and booby-trapped drones, which are launched from Yemen towards their airports and oil facilities.
The Iran-backed Houthi militia launched in February 2021, a major offensive toward Marib in an attempt to seize control of the province, the last northern stronghold of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.