Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed Yemeni rebel targets including in the capital yesterday following insurgent drone strikes on a key oil pipeline that Riyadh said were ordered by its arch-rival Tehran.
The new bombardment came after the UN envoy, who has been spearheading efforts to end more than four years of conflict in the Arab world’s poorest country, warned it still faced the threat of plunging into all-out war.
The Saudi deputy defence minister warned that Tuesday’s attack by Yemeni rebels on a major pipeline in the kingdom was “tightening the noose” around peace efforts.
Khalid bin Salman charged the pipeline attack was carried out on Iranian orders.
“The attack by the Iranian-backed Huthi militias against the two Aramco pumping stations proves that these militias are merely a tool that Iran’s regime uses to implement its expansionist agenda in the region,” the prince said on Twitter.
The Saudi-led coalition said it had hit “a number of legitimate military targets” that the rebels used to store munitions.
The rebels’ Al-Masirahn television said the caolition carried out at least 19 strikes, 11 of them in the capital.
A strike on one Sanaa neighbourhood killed at least six people and wounded 10, Dr Mokhtar Mohammed of the capital’s Republic Hospital said.
An AFP correspondent saw one residential building that had been reduced to rubble by an air strike. Residents were using their bare hands in a desperate search for survivors.
The raids began around 8 am (0500 GMT) while many Yemenis were asleep awaiting the end at sunset of the daytime fast observed by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan, a witness told AFP
The rebels said their attack on the Saudi pipeline was a response to “crimes” committed by Riyadh during its bloody air war in Yemen, that has been criticised repeatedly by the United Nations and human rights groups.
More than four years of conflict have triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 24.1 million -- more than two-thirds of the population -- in need of aid.