Saudi military aircraft have reportedly targeted Riyadh-sponsored militiamen loyal to resigned Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in Yemen’s northern province of al-Jawf, killing and injuring scores of the mercenaries.
Informed sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Saudi warplanes struck a four-vehicle convoy of the mercenaries on Friday as it was travelling along a road in the Saa'da district of the province, located approximately 220 kilometers (68 miles) north of the capital Sana'a, Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported.
The Saudi-backed militiamen were reportedly planning to launch an offensive against Yemeni army forces and allied fighters from the Popular Committees in the al-Maton district in the next few days.
Several members of the Salafist and al-Qaeda-affiliated Islah party were among the casualties.
Later in the day, Saudi warplanes carried out a raft of sorties over Maghribia district in Yemen’s mountainous northwestern province of Sa’ada, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.
In early November last year, an unspecified number of Saudi-backed mercenaries were killed or injured when the Arab kingdom's fighter jets struck the central Yemeni city of Ma’rib. It came less than a week after Saudi warplanes carried out airstrikes in the same Yemeni city, killing an unknown number of militiamen loyal to Hadi.
Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to bring Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, back to power and defeat the Ansarullah movement.
More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured since the onset of the aggression.
The Saudi strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. They have also driven 2.8 million people from their homes.
More than 80 percent of the population is in dire need of food, water and other humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations.