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Saudi-led coalition says Yemen rebel depots hit in Sanaa

By AFP - Feb 24,2020 - Last updated at Feb 24,2020

Smoke billows following an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Sunday (AFP photo)

RIYADH — The Saudi-led coalition said it launched air raids Sunday targeting ballistic missile and drone depots in Yemen's capital of the Iran-backed Houthis, two days after the rebels fired missiles into the kingdom.

Turki Al Maliki, spokesman for the coalition fighting alongside Yemen's internationally-recognised government, said the strikes were in retaliation for ballistic missiles attacks on "civilian targets" in Saudi Arabia.

The coalition “carried out a unique military operation to destroy legitimate military targets for the capabilities of assembling and firing of Iranian ballistic missiles and drones in the capital Sanaa”, he said, quoted by the Saudi state news agency SPA.

He said Sanaa had become “a Houthi militia assembly, installation and launching hub for ballistic missiles that target the kingdom”.

The attacks destroyed storage, assembly and firing sites in the districts of Faj Atan, Al Amad Camp and Al Nahdain Mountain, he said.

Riyadh said on Friday it intercepted ballistic missiles fired by the Houthis in a “systematic, deliberate manner to target cities and civilians”, in what it branded a breach of international law.

A Houthi spokesman said the group had targeted oil installations in the kingdom with a dozen Sammad-3 drones and ballistic missiles.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying sophisticated weapons to the Houthis, a charge Tehran denies.

The US last week also accused Tehran of delivering weapons to the rebels, citing arms it said it had intercepted, days after the Houthis claimed to have downed a Saudi fighter with an “advanced surface-to-air missile”.

Since the coalition intervened to back the government in March 2015 after the rebels seized Sanaa, the conflict has killed tens of thousands of people in impoverished Yemen, many of them civilians.

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