DUBAI, July 1 (Reuters) – A Saudi-led coalition has started a military operation against Yemen’s Houthi movement after it stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, Saudi state television reported on Wednesday.
In Yemen, Houthi-run Al Masirah TV reported airstrikes on the capital Sanaa, Marib, al-Jouf, al-Bayda, Hajjah and Saada provinces throughout the day and into the night.
Residents in Sanaa described the air raids as violent. Al Masirah said late on Wednesday a number of people had been injured there.
The Western-backed coalition with Saudi Arabia and UAE as the main partners has been battling the Iran-aligned Houthi movement for five years. The coalition said earlier that there would be a news conference on the operation that aims to neutralise the Houthis military capabilities, Al-Ekhbariya channel and Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV said.
Last week, Houthi fighters fired missiles that reached the Saudi capital Riyadh in the first such assault since a six-week ceasefire prompted by the novel coronavirus epidemic expired in late May. The coalition said it intercepted the attack.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed government from the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.
The conflict is largely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
(Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous, Lisa Barrington and Alaa Swilam Editing by Gareth Jones and Grant McCool)