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Saudi warplanes hit allied Yemeni militants by mistake, kill 12

Militants loyal to Saudi-backed fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi watch as smoke billows into the sky following clashes with Houthi Ansarullah fighters in the Dar Saad suburb of the southern Yemeni city of Aden on July 19, 2015. (© AFP)

At least 12 militants loyal to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi were killed when Saudi military aircraft mistakenly struck the positions of pro-Riyadh forces in Yemen’s southwestern province of Lahij.

Yemeni military sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Saudi fighter jets conducted airstrikes on hills overlooking the al-Anad air base near the city of al-Houta, located about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the strategic southern port city of Aden, on Monday, leaving 12 militants killed and at least 30 others wounded.

The development came on the same day as Saudi warplanes carried out three airstrikes against al-Mesaimeer district in the same Yemeni province. There were no immediate reports of possible casualties and the extent of damage inflicted.

Yemeni men stand amid the ruins of buildings destroyed in a Saudi airstrike on the capital, Sana’a, on July 16, 2015. (© AFP)


Moreover, Saudi jets pounded residential neighborhoods in the al-Matammah district of the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf, located approximately 110 kilometers (68 miles) north of Sana'a, though no reports of fatalities were immediately available.

Artillery rounds and mortar shells fired by Saudi forces also rained down on al-Ma’amil, Jabal al-Ahmar and Wadi al-Jarah districts in Yemen’s northern provinces of Hajjaah and Sa’ada. No casualties were, however, reported.

Additionally, Yemeni army troopers backed by fighters from Popular Committees launched 22 rockets against al-Radif and al-Khojarah military bases in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern region of Jizan.

Yemeni children stand amid the rubble of a building damaged in a Saudi airstrike on the capital, Sana’a, on July 13, 2015. (© AFP)  


Yemeni soldiers and their allied forces also managed to make headway in the country’s southwestern province of Taiz and the central Ma'rib Province.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

Rupert Colville, the spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on July 21 that at least 1,693 civilians had been killed and 3,829 others injured in the Arab country since March 26. However, local sources say over 4,500 people have lost their lives since then.

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