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Yemeni army, allies capture 3 bases in southwestern Saudi Arabia

A Saudi soldier is stationed at a military post on al-Dokhan Mountain on the Saudi-Yemeni border, in southwestern Saudi Arabia, on April 13, 2015. ©AFP

Yemeni army forces backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees have wrested control of three military bases in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern region of Jizan as Riyadh presses ahead with its military campaign against its southern neighbor.

On Thursday, Yemeni forces established control over the strategic Jabal al-Doud, al-Aril and Madba’ bases in the border region, Sky News Arabia television network reported.

The development came only hours after at least one Saudi and three Qatari troopers were killed in a retaliatory shelling attack by Yemeni army soldiers and allied forces against the al-Makhrouq military base in the kingdom’s southern region of Najran.

Supporters of the Houthi Ansarullah movement take part in a rally against the Saudi military campaign against Yemen in the capital, Sana’a, on December 15, 2015. ©AFP

Yemen's army forces, backed by Houthi Ansarullah fighters, also downed a Saudi fighter jet and destroyed a number of its gunboats.

Military sources said army brigades downed the Saudi military aircraft in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa'ada, noting that the warplane was hit by a surface-to-air missile.

Yemeni army forces also targeted three Saudi frigates off the coast of Mokha port city, about 346 kilometers (214 miles) south of the capital, Sana’a. Two more Saudi vessels also escaped the scene after receiving partial damage.

Yemenis walk past the site of a Saudi airstrike that targeted a building in Sana’a on January 25, 2016. ©AFP

Also on Thursday, at least 14 people lost their lives when Saudi warplanes bombarded the Hidan district of Sa'ada Province.

Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March last year. The Saudi military strikes were launched to supposedly undermine the Ansarullah movement and bring the fugitive former president, Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadi, back to power.

At least 8,278 people, among them 2,236 children, have been killed and 16,015 others injured since March 2015. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

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