[QODLink]
Middle East
Saudi 'seizes key rebel area'
Riyadh claims control of 'strategic' mountain in fight against Houthis.
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2009 09:16 GMT
Saudi forces began bombarding suspected Houthi positions along the border earlier this month [AFP]

Saudi Arabia says its forces have seized control of a strategic mountain along the border with Yemen in the kingdom's ongoing fight against Yemen's Houthi rebels.

Prince Khaled bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's defence and aviation assistant minister, told a local television station that Saudi forces cleared the peak, known as Jabal al-Dood, on Saturday.

Sultan was shown speaking at what appeared to be an area near the frontline, as the sound of artillery fire was heard in the background, the Reuters news agency reported.

"Where we are now is less than 3km away from the border ... We are within our borders ... The [Saudi] forces are destroying all infiltrators," he said.

"We try to keep losses at a minimum ... and not be drawn into a war in the mountains."

Heavy clashes

Meanwhile, Yemeni military officials said they had also engaged in heavy clashes with the Houthi rebels on the outskirts of the northern city of Saada.

In depth

 Video: Hunger stalks Yemen's displaced
 
Video: Saudis tighten Yemen border control
Video:
Iran warns against Yemen meddling
 Video: Saudi worried over Houthi fighters
 Profile: Yemen's Houthi fighters
 Inside story: Yemen's future
A military official told Reuters that Yemeni officials had prevented a rebel attempt to enter the city on Saturday.

The Shia Muslim Houthi fighters, citing political, economic and religious marginalisation, have been battling the government of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, since 2004.

Saudi Arabia began bombarding suspected Houthi positions earlier this month after they apparently crossed the border and seized control of a small area.

The Houthis say that the Saudis have been allowing Yemeni troops to use the area to attack their positions.

Saudi officials claim that the fighting in northern Yemen is being supported by Iran and could be helping al-Qaeda to cross to their side of the border.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.