Yemen raids kill 79 rebels in 48 hours

AFP , Tuesday 22 Jan 2019

Saudi-led coalition air strikes in Yemen have killed almost 80 Houthi rebel fighters over 48 hours in the western province of Hodeida, military and medical sources said Tuesday.

The strikes on Hodeida, site of a vital port and target of a renewed coalition offensive, also left seven civilians dead, they said.

Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen at the head of a military coalition to support the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi after the Houthis ousted it from the capital Sanaa and swathes of the country's north.

The coalition has used air power to oust the Iran-backed rebels from much of the country's south.

But the Houthis continue to hold Sanaa and the key Red Sea port of Hodeida.

Following the collapse of United Nations-backed talks in September, the coalition announced it was relaunching an assault on Hodeida city and its port.

The port is the main conduit for aid and commodities into Yemen, which is teetering on the brink of famine.

The fighting has since eased and the coalition has focused its raids on the city limits and other parts of the surrounding province.

However, in the past 48 hours, coalition raids have hit two farms, two rebel training camps and an area close to the city's port, according to rebel military sources.

Rescue personnel and medical sources have confirmed that 79 rebel fighters were killed and their bodies taken to hospitals in the province.

Yemen's war has left 10,000 people dead, mostly civilians, since the coalition intervened in 2015, and triggered what the UN has labelled the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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