Tue Sep 5, 2017 05:48PM
The file photo shows a sniper of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement.
The file photo shows a sniper of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement.

At least four mercenary soldiers fighting for Saudi Arabia have been killed when the Yemeni army and fighters from the allied Popular Committees carried out a retaliatory attack against the kingdom’s southwestern border region of Asir.

An unnamed military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network that Yemeni snipers fatally wounded the mercenaries in the Alab border crossing on Tuesday, two days after sharpshooters also killed five Saudi troops in the same area.

Yemenis also torched a Saudi weapons depot near the crossing by artillery fire.

The source added that Yemeni forces also destroyed a Saudi tank in the Khadra border crossing in the kingdom’s southern region of Najran by targeting it with a rocket.

The report further said Yemenis also struck the Shabaka military base and a commanding center of Saudis in Najran with their artillery fire.

Back in April, Arabic-language Yemen Watch news agency reported that in the first quarter of this year, Yemeni forces had killed a total of 119 Saudi soldiers. Most of the operations were conducted in Jizan, where a total of 74 Saudi soldiers were slain. Thirty-five and 10 other Saudi troops were killed in Najran and Asir regions, respectively.

Yemenis react as they sit on the debris of a house hit in a Saudi airstrike in the residential southern district of Faj Attan in the capital Sana’a, August 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Over the past two and a half years, Yemen has been under heavy airstrikes by Saudi Arabia’s warplanes as part of a brutal war against the Arabian Peninsula country in an attempt to crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh. More than 12,000 people have been killed since the onset of the campaign, and much of the country's infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been ravaged.

The Saudi war has also triggered a deadly cholera epidemic across Yemen. According to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Yemen’s Health Ministry on Tuesday, the country’s cholera outbreak, the worst on record in terms of its rapid spread, has infected 612,703 people and killed 2,048 since it began in April, with some districts still reporting sharp rises in new cases.

The UN has already announced that the Saudi war has left some 17 million Yemenis hungry, nearly seven million facing famine, and about 16 million almost without access to water or sanitation.

The United States and Britain have been providing the bulk of the military ordnance used by Saudi Arabia in the war. London has licensed 3.3 billion pounds' worth of weapons since the beginning of the war.

Washington also sealed a multibillion-dollar arms deal with Riyadh when US President Donald Trump made his maiden visit abroad in May. The deal, which is worth $350 billion over 10 years and $110 billion that will take effect immediately, was hailed by the White House as a significant expansion of the security relationship between the two countries.