Yemen’s Houthi group yesterday announced that it had taken control over a number of sites inside the Saudi territory.
Pro-Houthi SABA reported that the group’s “army forces and popular committees repulsed several attempts by the locals and the Saudi forces to restore the seized sites in Jazan, Najran and Asir region.”
Quoting a military source, the agency said the seizure of Saudi Arabia’s northern province of Najran took place during an offensive by Houthi forces, leaving a number of deaths and injuries in the ranks of the Saudi army.
The group earlier published footage on social media of them shelling Saudi vehicles, as fighting was reported to have been intensified between the two sides lately.
On Saturday, the Saudi forces said nine of their soldiers were killed in the battles with Houthis along the Yemeni-Saudi border. During the fight, Houthis were reported to have damaged a Saudi military bulldozer and destroyed a vehicle loaded with soldiers near Najran.
The kingdom’s southern border has been witnessing violent confrontations between the Saudi and Houthis forces, but the fight was recently intensified, leaving tens dead from both sides.
Houthis have said that the latest attacks came in response to a recent escalation carried out by the Saudi-led coalition against a number of the group-controlled sites.
Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen in March 2015 following a request from internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi who needed help to neutralise threats posed by the Houthis who had taken control of the country’s capital, Sana’a. Three years on, Yemen has witnessed 10,000 deaths according to the United Nations and civilians remain trapped in the middle of the crossfire, with dwindling supplies of basic amenities, and lack of access to sufficient water, sanitation and food.