Saudi Forces And Yemen’s Houthis Trade Heavy Fire, Destroys Border Crossing

Houthi rebels transport part of a Saudi fighter jet found in Bani Harith district north of Yemen's capital Sanaa May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Houthi rebels transport part of a Saudi fighter jet found in Bani Harith district north of Yemen’s capital Sanaa May 24, 2015. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Saudi forces and Yemen’s Houthi militia traded heavy artillery fire which destroyed part of the main border crossing between the two countries overnight, residents said on Sunday, an escalation of the two-month war. Reuters has more:

The Haradh border crossing, the largest for people and goods between the world’s top oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, and its impoverished neighbor, was evacuated amid shelling which razed its departure lounge and passport section, witnesses said.

Residents of several Yemeni villages in the area left their homes and fled from the frontier, which has turned into a front line between the kingdom and the Iran-allied rebels. Arab air raids hit military bases and weapons stores in the capital Sanaa and local officials said a mid-level Houthi commander, Abu Bassam al-Kibsi, was killed in an air strike in the central province of Raymah.

Saudi Arabia has led an Arab coalition bombing the Houthis and backing southern Yemeni fighters opposing the group and loyal to the exiled government in Saudi Arabia headed by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Sunni Muslim states believe the Shi’ite Houthis are a proxy for influence by their arch rival Iran, but their campaign has yet to reverse the rebels’ battlefield gains.

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