Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed that their forces have seized more than 20 military positions inside Saudi Arabia’s territory.
The military sites in the kingdom’s south-western Najran province were captured in a “surprise” offensive carried out over the past three days, Yemen’s SABA news agency quoted Houthi spokesman Yahya Sarei as saying on Wednesday.
The spokesperson claimed in the operations 200 Saudi military personnel were also killed or wounded. “We have extensive video footage of the operation which we will broadcast later,” he said.
Yemen has been engulfed in a civil war since 2015. Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s government, backed by Saudi-led coalition, is in violent conflict with Houthi forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Notably, Houthi’s are supported by Saudi-foe Iran.
The recent attack is likely to further deteriorate the condition in the already volatile region.
The raids have come weeks after Houthis claimed responsibility for drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities last week, calling it the “largest military operation” conducted by militants since the start of the armed conflict in 2015.
The attack caused a fire and some minor damage to one of the pumps of Saudi Aramco’s cross-country pipelines. The company has stated that it has halted crude oil traffic via the pipeline as a precautionary measure.
In retaliation, the Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes in war-torn Yemen on Thursday in which at least six people lost their lives while several others, including two Russian women, were wounded.
The coalition warplanes which hit the residential area at the intersection of Rabat and Rakas streets in Sanaa were being controlled by the Houthis, reported.