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Saudi-led attack targets Sanaa air base

Wednesday, September 02, 2015 - 00:40

Saudi-led coalition jets bombed the Houthi-held Dulaimi air base in Sanaa, in repeated air strikes that shook the Yemeni capital early Wednesday morning. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: In the immediate aftermath of the air strikes, large plumes of black smoke could be seen rising from the base but there were no official reports of casualties. The air strikes came a day after seven supporters of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi were killed by friendly fire from a Saudi-led air strike in north Yemen, tribal sources said, as pro-Hadi forces converged on Marib in preparation to attack Houthi fighters in the region. Saudi-led forces have been waging an air campaign against the Iran-allied Houthis since March to try to halt the Zaydi Shi'ite group's expansion and restore the exiled Hadi to power. Hadi supporters had been reinforcing local tribal fighters with newly-trained recruits and armoured vehicles supplied by the Saudi-led coalition in what regional media had said were preparations for an assault to retake Sanaa from the Houthis. Hadi supporters, who had been on the retreat since the Houthis seized Sanaa a year ago, have made gains in recent weeks with Saudi-led support, capturing Aden and advancing on the strategic southwestern city of Taiz. But the United Nations says the fighting has often targeted civilians. In Geneva, the United Nations said on Tuesday (September 1) that 95 civilians had been killed in the past two weeks in Taiz, where a collapse in health care services and an outbreak of dengue fever are compounding a dire humanitarian situation. Taiz, Yemen's third-largest city, has become the latest front line in a five-month war between Houthi militiamen from the north and supporters of Yemen's exiled government, which is backed by the West and Saudi Arabia. The northern-based Houthis seized Sanaa in September 2014 then took control of much of the Arabian Peninsula country. Loyalist forces, supported by Saudi-led air strikes, have made significant advances since July however. Gulf states regard the Houthis as a proxy of their arch-rival, Shi'ite Iran, while the Houthis say they are fighting a revolution against corrupt officials beholden to the West.

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Saudi-led attack targets Sanaa air base

Wednesday, September 02, 2015 - 00:40