Middle East

Saudi-led coalition denies Houthi claims of Saudi territorial gains

Houthi rebels say they captured more than 150 square kilometers inside Saudi Arabia

Ibrahim Al-Khazen and Mohamed al-Samei   | 30.05.2021
Saudi-led coalition denies Houthi claims of Saudi territorial gains

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia

The Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen has denied rebel claims about capturing a territory inside the oil-rich kingdom.

The Houthi-run Saba news agency said Saturday that rebels had seized more than 150 square kilometers south of Saudi Arabia in an attack inside Saudi territory, without giving any further details.

The agency said more than 200 Saudi soldiers were killed, injured, and captured along with the destruction of 60 armored vehicles during the rebel attack.

Coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki, however, described the Houthi claim as “media fabrications”.

“Houthis have suffered heavy losses in personnel and equipment in Yemen’s Ma'rib and Al-Jawf provinces, where more than 4,000 rebel vehicles were destroyed in the past six months,” he told Al Ekhbariya television.

Saudi Arabia had previously denied Houthi claims of making territorial gains inside Saudi Arabia as “rebel propaganda to cover up for its losses”.

Yemen has been ravaged by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with 30 million people accounting for 80% of the population needing humanitarian assistance and protection.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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