Saudi-led warplanes on Wednesday bombed a military camp held by Yemen’s Shiite Houthi militant group in central Yemen’s Taizz city, a local military source has said.
The source, requesting anonymity, told The Anadolu Agency that coalition forces had struck the camp on Wednesday morning, hours after the Houthis seized the site.
“Troops withdrew from the camp after the Houthis attacked it from different directions, leaving a number of soldiers dead or injured,” the source said.
Wednesday’s airstrikes came hours after the Saudi-led coalition announced the end of its anti-Houthi “Operation Decisive Storm,” saying the operation’s objectives had been achieved.
The move follows almost one month of heavy aerial and naval bombardments of Houthi positions across Yemen.
Late Tuesday night, however, coalition spokesman Ahmed al-Asiri told reporters in Riyadh that a fresh military operation –Operation Restoring Hope – would begin on Wednesday.
Al-Asiri said the new operation would include “a combination of political, diplomatic and military efforts” aimed at kick-starting Yemen’s stalled political process.
Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have since sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.
On March 25, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive air and naval campaign against Houthi positions across Yemen.
Riyadh says its campaign comes in response to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s appeals for military intervention against the Houthis.
Hadi, who is backed by the Sunni-majority Gulf States, fled to Riyadh last month after Houthi forces attacked his residence in the southern port city of Aden, from which he had hoped to reinstate his beleaguered presidency.
The Houthis, for their part, have denounced the air offensive as an unwarranted “Saudi-American onslaught” against Yemen.
Some Gulf States accuse Shiite Iran of supporting Yemen’s Houthi insurgency.