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Saudi air strikes hit Yemen's rebel-occupied capital
Saudi Arabia launched air strikes on the rebel-held capital of Yemen on Friday in response to a rebel missile attack against the Saudi kingdom last week. The exchange, which injured three Yemeni civilians, adds to the growing list of civilian casualties that the two-year-old civil war has caused.
By Leon Clarke
Feb 17, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — Saudi Arabian jets struck Sanaa, Yemen's rebel-occupied capital city, late Friday and damaged the city's ministry of defense and several surrounding properties. Three Yemeni civilians suffered injuries in the strikes.

"I was sitting at home and heard the first strike hit the ministry of defence. Everyone was afraid. Minutes later, another strike hit my neighbor's house," resident Mohammed Aatif told Agence France Presse. "My entire house shook." Aatif added that he and his family fled the neighborhood.

The air strikes followed Houthi rebels' launch of a missile November 4 into Saudi territory. The missile sailed past the Saudi capital, Riyadh, before Saudi anti-missile defenses shot it down near an airport.

Houthi forces lobbed the missile into Saudi Arabia as payback for Saudi support of the Yemeni government that the rebels have been at war with since 2015. The rebels warned that more attacks will follow against Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is also supporting Yemen's government.

Air strikes aren't the only harms that Yemeni civilians have suffered from Saudi Arabia's military response recently. Saudi forces and the UAE both imposed a blockade across Yemen's border this week after the missile attack.

The blockade is targeted at rebel forces, but it is also obstructing deliveries of food and medical aid to Yemeni civilians, the United Nations said Friday. UN aid chief Mark Lowcock told the UN Security Council earlier this week that Yemen will face "the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims" unless the blockade ends.

The conflict has already killed more than 8,650 people, many of whom are civilians. This includes more than 2,000 Yemenis who died in a recent cholera outbreak.