Saudi-led coalition says air raids hit military camp in Sanaa

Coalition says it destroyed drone and weapons stores in air raids on military camp in Yemeni capital Sanaa.

A smoke plume rises from a building following a reported air raid by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's Houthi rebel-held capital Sanaa. [File: Mohammed Huwais/AFP]

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has said it launched air raids against a military camp in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, as the Houthi rebels said the attacks hit a prison compound and a hospital.

The coalition said it destroyed seven drone and weapons stores at the camp, Saudi state TV reported on Thursday, adding that the air raids were in response to an armed drone launched from north Yemen towards Saudi’s Red Sea region of Jizan.

The Houthi rebels said in a statement that bombs fell on a prison hosting more than 3,000 coalition fighters that were previously captured in battle. The statement said the raids caused panic and fear among prisoners.

The Yemeni capital is held by the Houthi movement. The group has been battling the coalition, which backs Yemen’s internationally recognised government, for seven years.

Houthi-run Masirah TV said air raids hit the Sabaeen neighbourhood in Sanaa in the early hours of Thursday, striking some civilian homes and causing some damage to a maternity and children’s hospital.

There was no immediate comment from the coalition on the claims that a prison and hospital had been hit.

Earlier this week, the Saudi-led coalition said it carried out air raids on Houthi targets at the international airport in Sanaa, alleging the facilities were used by the Houthis to carry out attacks on Saudi Arabia.

The Houthis said the airport had been put out of operation.

Yemen was plunged into chaos in 2014 when Houthi rebels seized control of Sanaa, as the government fled. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia intervened in 2015 in support of the government.

During the conflict, which has killed tens of thousands and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, the Saudi-led coalition has launched thousands of air raids inside Yemen that also hit markets, schools and hospitals. Houthi forces have regularly sent drones and fired missiles into Saudi Arabian cities.

The death toll from the violence is projected to rise to 377,000 people by the end of the year, according to the UN Development Programme.

Some four million people have been internally displaced during the fighting, with the World Food Programme (WFP) gearing up to hand out 11.1 million people food assistance last month. In September, the agency warned that 16 million Yemenis were “marching towards starvation”.

The WFP on Wednesday said it had been forced to cut aid to Yemen due to a funding shortage.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies