8 killed in Saudi-led airstrikes on farm in western Yemen

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-16 19:47:22|Editor: Chengcheng
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ADEN, Yemen, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Saudi-led warplanes fired missiles at a farm on Tuesday in the western port city of Hodeidah, killing eight civilians, a security official told Xinhua.

"The Saudi-led warplanes mistakenly attacked an agricultural area in the Houthi-controlled province of Hodeidah, leaving about eight civilians killed inside their farm," the local security source said on condition of anonymity.

The pre-dawn airstrikes also targeted nearby locations controlled by Houthi forces, killing and injuring an unknown number of militants, the source added.

Forces loyal to Yemen's internationally-backed government, supported by the Saudi-led coalition, captured key districts from the Houthi group along the country's western port.

Many civilians, however, were killed either by Saudi-led air bombardment or by random shelling launched by fighters on the ground.

Hundreds of families started fleeing from the war-torn areas in western Yemen part and arrived in the government-controlled southern provinces.

Last week, Yemen's Houthi rebels warned of cutting off the Red Sea shipping line if the Saudi-led coalition forces keep advancing toward the strategic port city of Hodeidah.

The threat was made by al-Sammad, the chief of the Houthi governing body, known as the Supreme Political Council, during his meeting with visiting UN deputy envoy Maeen Sharim in the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.

Yemen's internationally-backed government, allied with the Saudi-led Arab military coalition, has been battling Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels over the control of the country for about three years.

The coalition began a military air campaign in March 2015 to roll back Houthi gains and restore exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government to the power.

The coalition also imposed air and sea blockade to prevent weapons from reaching Houthis, who invaded Sanaa militarily and seized most of the northern Yemeni provinces.

UN statistics show more than 10,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the coalition intervened in the Yemeni civil war that has displaced around three million others.

The impoverished Arab country is also suffering the world's largest cholera epidemic since last April, with about 5,000 cases reported every day.