Coalition hits Al Houthi training camps hard

Dozens of Iran-allied militiamen killed and injured in air strikes at militant facilities

Cairo: A Saudi-led Arab coalition, fighting Iran-allied Al Houthis in Yemen, had mounted a series of air strikes against the militiamen’s training camps in the north-west province of Hajjah and on edges of the capital Sana’a, military sources and witnesses said on Monday.

The coalition fighter jets destroyed a training camp recently set up by Al Houthis north east of Hajjah where government forces have advanced against the militia in recent weeks, local sources told Yemeni news portal Adan Al Ghad.

The strikes left scores of Al Houthis dead or injured, they added.

The camp was set up to serve as a rallying point for Al Houthi fighters after the radical group suffered heavy casualties and territorial setbacks in the district of Hayran in southern Hajjah.

The coalition warplanes, meanwhile, pounded another Al Houthi training camp in the district of Khwlan, south east of Sana’a.

The bombardment completely destroyed the camp, home to the so-called Rapid Intervention Battalion of Al Houthis.

In recent weeks, government loyalists, supported by an air cover from the coalition, have pursued a multi-front campaign in different parts of Yemen against Al Houthis, including their northern stronghold of Saada near the Saudi border.

On Monday, the coalition mounted intense air bombardment against Al Houthi military positions in Saada’s border district of Shada’a.

An unspecified number of militiamen were killed in the strikes, according to Adan Al Ghad.

The escalation comes in the run-up to a new round of UN-brokered peace talks between Yemen’s warring sides scheduled for September 6 in Geneva.

In late 2014, Al Houthis staged a coup against the internationally recognised government and overran Sana’a.

In March 2015, the Arab Coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, initiated a campaign in Yemen against Al Houthis in response to a request from the government after the militants advanced on the southern city of Aden, the temporary capital of the country after their takeover of Sana’a.

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