Saudi-led coalition warplanes struck targets in Yemen’s Houthi-held capital Sanaa, on Thursday, in retaliation for an attack on the Aden Airport as the Riyadh-backed government arrived there.
The coalition accused the Houthi movement, which it has been fighting against for six years, of staging the attack on the airport and a second one on the presidential palace in the southern port city.
The air strikes hit Sanaa Airport and several other sites in and around the city, residents said. Loud blasts were heard for several hours, they said.
Houthi-run Masirah television said the coalition planes hit at least 15 locations in different districts in the capital. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Coalition air strikes have killed thousands, including many civilians, over the course of the war. But they have been less frequent in recent years as the conflict has reached a stalemate, with the Iran-aligned Houthis controlling most population centers and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognised government – supported by Riyadh and Western powers – basing itself in Aden.
The main war has been eclipsed by a power-struggle between Hadi’s government and southern separatists in Aden. Saudi Arabia has been trying to unite them to focus on fighting the Houthis.
At least 22 people were killed and dozens more wounded in Wednesday’s attack on Aden airport, which took place just as members of Hadi’s new cabinet arrived from Saudi Arabia. A second attack was made on the Maasheq palace, where they had been taken to safety.
A coalition statement said the alliance had downed an explosive-laden Houthi drone that was targeting the palace.
“The desperate, terrorist attack to target Maasheq palace confirms the responsibility of the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia of the attack in Aden International Airport,” the statement said.