Sana’a, January 23: At least 70 people were killed and many others wounded in Yemen after the Saudi-led coalition and rebel Houthi forces renewed their fighting this weekened.
Notably, fourteen members of forces loyal to president-in-exile Abd- Rabbu Mansour Hadi also died fighting Houthi rebels as the two sides continued their struggle for the control of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, a strategic maritime route that connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. On the other side, Houthis killed 14 of the Hadi government attackers.
Interestingly, on 21 and 22 January, over 45 strikes were carried out across the country and its borders, with targets varying from a school north of the capital Sana'a and Saudi border military bases.
While some of the deaths were also due to the first suspected US drone strikes under the Trump administration. According to sources, drone strike by the United States killed three Al-Qaeda operatives. Among those reported to be killed was Abu Anis al-Abi, an area field commander for the terror outfit. But the US has denied responsibility for the drone strikes.
Notably, the Yemen conflict began when Hadi was ousted by rebel Houthi forces, which then took control of the capital Sana and a major portion of the Red Sea coastal areas. In 2015, the Saudi-led coalition joined the conflict in support of the president.
Last week, US intelligence officials said that during the Obama administration, at least 117 civilians had been killed in drone and other counter-terror attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and other countries. More than 10,000 people have died since the conflict in Yemen descended into full-scale civil war almost two years ago.
Human rights groups are now concerned about President Trump's stand on counter-terrorism. The new administration has yet to lay out a clear policy on drone strikes, but Trump earlier indicated that he would be open to increasing attacks against Islamist militant groups. The World Health Organisation said that more than 7,400 people have been killed since the coalition intervention began.