Nine soldiers belonging to the UN-recognised Yemeni government are believed to have been killed in friendly fire yesterday following an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition in the country’s Marib province.
According to Xinhua, an anonymous military source disclosed that “warplanes of the Saudi-led Arab coalition mistakenly targeted a military site of the pro-government forces in Jafra area in the northern part of Marib province.”
The air strikes are said to have occurred during fighting between forces loyal to Saudi-backed, exiled President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and those of the Houthi movement, which is allied with the majority of Yemen’s armed forces.
“Nearly nine soldiers were killed and ten others injured as a result of the Saudi-led airstrike that mistakenly missed its target and hit our forces,” the source added.
The Houthi-led forces have made recent gains over Hadi’s forces, seizing the Nehm district in the Sanaa province and capturing a strategic road linking Marib to Al-Jawf provinces. Yesterday there were reports that Hazm, which is the capital of Jawf province is under heavy attack by the Houthis, recent unconfirmed reports have claimed they have entered the city, which would amount to further set-backs to the Hadi government.
It has also been reported by Reuters that Houthi-led forces today claimed to have attacked Saudi Aramco facilities by drone in the kingdom’s south-west port city of Jizan on the Red Sea. The Houthis also claimed responsibility for last year’s attack in Abqaiq and Khurais.
At an emergency session at the Security Council yesterday, the UN Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, urged the warring sides to cease fighting “before it’s too late” and also stated on Twitter that the current escalations “jeopardize the progress the parties had made on de-escalation & confidence building.”