Dozens of Saudi-backed troops killed

August 30, 2021 - 18:52

Scores of soldiers have been killed in missile strikes on a Saudi-backed military base in Yemen.

A spokesman for Saudi-backed mercenaries in the south, Mohamed al-Naqib, says between 30 and 40 soldiers have been killed and at least 65 wounded in the attacks, adding that the casualties could still rise.

Reports say the operation used armed drones and ballistic missiles to attack the al-Anad military base, belonging to the Saudi-led coalition in southwest Yemen.

According to military sources, speaking to the Associated Press, there were three explosions in the training area at a time when dozens of troops were performing morning exercises.

Medics described harrowing scenes following the explosions, with soldiers carrying the wounded to safety while, at the same time, fearing another potential attack hitting the site.

Residents nearby said several loud blasts were heard in the area. Other residents from the central city of Taiz said they heard ballistic missiles fired from launchers positioned in the National Salvation Government held eastern suburbs of the city.

A military spokesman for Ansarullah which has carried out many retaliatory attacks against Saudi Arabia and its interests in Yemen did not confirm or deny the attack on the base. Observers says it carries the hallmarks of the movement’s previous retaliatory attacks. 

Ansarullah have launched similar attacks on al-Anad camp, including a bomb-laden drone in January 2019, killing six troops.

The latest operation came at a time when UN-backed peace talks between the Saudi-led coalition and the National Salvation Government, have stalled after Riyadh refused to lift its devastating and deadly all-out blockade on Yemen. 

The talks had been focused on steps to lift the blockade especially on the Hodeidah port and Sana’a airport. This is the world's largest humanitarian crisis continues to grip the country.

Some 21 million people are believed to be in need of humanitarian assistance; according to UNICEF, around 2.3 million children under the age of five are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition this year.

Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration has warned about the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. The organization wrote on its social media platforms that well over 16 million Yemenis have no access to safe water and sanitation. 

The IOM says, last year it had helped more than 2 million Yemenis, providing them with services such as safe water and hygiene. 

In a report, the UN-backed organization warned that the Saudi’s war on Yemen continues to displace Yemenis in their own homeland. 

According to the organization, 50,000 civilians were forced from their homes in the first half of 2021 alone.

In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition, backed by the US and the UK waged a war on Yemen.

Rights groups and international organizations say Saudi Arabia has committed multiple war crimes in its southern neighbor. Saudi airstrikes have indiscriminately struck family homes, weddings, funerals; even school buses carrying dozens of children have not been spared from the bombardment.

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