Yemen: Houthis increase tension with missile strike

One soldier died in the attack, with 14 badly wounded

FILE PHOTO: Houthi militants ride on the back of a truck as they withdraw, as part of a U.N.-sponsored peace agreement signed in Sweden earlier this month, from the Red Sea city of Hodeidah, Yemen December 29, 2018. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad/File Photo
Powered by automated translation

A soldier was killed and 14 severely wounded on Thursday when Houthi rebels attacked a military base in Yemen’s Al Khokha in southern Hodeidah.

The base, under the control of the National Resistance, was hit by a ballistic missile at 9pm on Thursday, Col Luai Hamood, director of security forces in Hodeidah, told The National.

“The Houthi militia shelled a military base called Abu Musa Al Ashary, which is used by the National Resistance, a division of the joint forces fighting the Houthis, as a training base,” Col Hamood said.

“We went to the site to help take the injured to hospital in Al Khokha.

"Some of the soldiers were seriously wounded in the explosion, so ambulances took them to Aden after they received first aid in Al Khokha.”

The missile strike came after the UN Security Council's five permanent members said the peace process could fail if the Stockholm agreement was not adhered to.

The agreement reached in December included a ceasefire and withdrawal of troops from the port city of Hodeidah.

“The Houthi rebels fired the ballistic missile over the training base from pockets still under their control in a mountainous area in the eastern district of Hays in southern Hodeidah,” a military source said.

“The Houthi militia has been escalating in the past three weeks in a bid to thwart the efforts exerted by the UN to pull the battling forces out of the city."

He said the rebels launched several attacks over sites controlled by Yemeni coalition members in the east of Hodeidah city, and areas in the eastern Al Duraihimi district and Al Tuhaiyta to the south.

The source said the constant attacks were wearing thin on coalition forces trying to stick to the UN-sponsored ceasefire.

“They repeatedly target our soldiers with all kinds of weapons, including thermal rockets and tanks. In the meantime we still struggle to stick to the ceasefire,” the source said.

“The new escalation against the National Resistance base tonight cut the last thread. We will not keep watching the rebels’ provocations."