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Saudi-led coalition provides air support to ex-President Saleh

In this August 24, 2017 file photo, Yemen's former President Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses a rally held to mark the 35th anniversary of the establishment of his General People's Congress party in Sana’a, Yemen.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes on Yemen’s capital Sana’a overnight on Sunday, local media said, lending support to loyalists of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh after he signalled a strategy shift that could pave the way to end the war.

In a speech on Saturday, Mr. Saleh appeared to indicate the end of his loyalists’ alliance with Iran-backed Houthi fighters, saying he was ready to turn a “new page” in ties with the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis, if it stopped attacks on Yemeni citizens and lifted a siege.

12 killed in Saada

Residents on Sunday, however, said a coalition air strike overnight killed 12 Yemeni civilians in one family in the northern province of Saada, the home territory of the Houthis, although this could not be verified.

The Saudi-owned al-Arabiya television said coalition aircraft pounded Houthi outposts in southern Sana’a overnight on Sunday, but gave no details on casualties.

Separately, the Houthis, who control most of northern Yemen, said that they had fired a cruise missile towards a nuclear power plant under construction in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a report quickly denied by the UAE.

Mr. Saleh’s announcement on Saturday was welcomed by the Saudi-led coalition, which has been backed by the U.S. and other Western powers but has struggled to advance against the Houthi-Saleh alliance which is trying to help the Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi back to power.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 12:16:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/saudi-led-coalition-provides-air-support-to-ex-president-saleh/article21254715.ece

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