Saudi-led strike ‘kills dozens’ in Yemen

SANAA: A Saudi-led coalition air strike has killed dozens of Yemeni fighters including two commanders, state media said on Saturday, in another blow to the fighters following the assassination of their political chief.
The Ansar Allah fighters staged a public funeral on Saturday for Saleh al Sammad, head of their Supreme Political Council and effectively the group’s second-in-command, who was killed last week in an air raid claimed by Saudi and its allies.
His funeral came hours after Saudi Arabia’s state-run Al Ekhbariya television said two high-ranking fighters were among more than 50 killed in a new strike overnight in the capital Sanaa.
The group has been locked in a war since 2015 with a Saudi-led military alliance fighting to restore the internationally recognised Yemeni government to power.
Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television said the overnight strike had targeted the interior ministry in Sanaa, which is controlled by the group.
The Ansar Allah group confirmed the air strike on Sanaa but gave no details. The fighters, who hail from northern Yemen, control Sanaa and much of the country’s north — which borders Saudi Arabia — and the key Hodeida port on the
Red Sea coast.
Shortly after Sammad’s funeral began, the group said they had launched eight ballistic missiles into the kingdom.
The coalition confirmed it had intercepted four missiles headed for the southern Saudi coastal city of Jizan, one day after the kingdom’s defence forces said they had downed a missile headed for the same area.
While the coalition statement said the attack claimed no casualties, Jizan’s civil defence spokesman Colonel Yahya Abdullah al Qahtani told Al Arabiya that a Saudi Arabian citizen had been killed by falling shrapnel.
A coalition spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for confirmation.
The group has ramped up their missile attacks on Saudi this year.
One person was reported killed by falling shrapnel in Riyadh last month.
Saturday’s attacks came as newly appointed US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was scheduled to land in Riyadh for meetings including talks on the Yemen conflict.
In Sanaa, Ansar Allah supporters lined the streets on Saturday for the funeral of Sammad and six others killed in the April 19 strike. — AFP