Arab Coalition begins operation in Yemeni province of Dhalea

The Saudi-led coalition targeted Houthi militants in the region

epa07480918 A member of Yemeni pro-government forces takes part in military operations on Houthi positions in the southern province of al-Dhalea, Yemen, 01 April 2019 (issued 02 April 2019). According to reports, heavy fighting has intensified in the southern province of al-Dhalea after the Houthi rebels launched a series of intensive attacks on positions of Yemeni pro-government forces in the province near the port city of Aden where the temporary seat of the internationally recognized Yemeni government.  EPA/NAJEEB ALMAHBOOBI

The Arab Coalition began an operation on targets in Yemen’s Dhalea province on Wednesday, Al Arabiya TV reported, in a bid to stop Houthi attacks creating a humanitarian crisis.

The coalition, which includes the UAE and Saudi Arabia, began the operation on the southern province, targeting Houthi military operations in the area. The targets are said to have attacked pro-government forces in areas populated by civilians.

On Tuesday, Yemen's Human Rights Minister, Mohammed Asker, urged the United Nations to intensify its humanitarian intervention in Dhalea.

Thousands of civilians have been displaced by fighting over the past two months and many are running low on food and supplies.

Since 2015, the Arab Coalition has been fighting Houthi rebels, seeking to restore the internationally recognised Yemeni government.

Houthis hold the capital of Sanaa in the north of the country, while the Yemeni government is operating from Aden in the south.

On Tuesday, the coalition said Iran is still supplying Houthis with ballistic missiles and unmanned aircraft.

Houthis have increased missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, against a backdrop of increased tensions against Iran and the United States, a Saudi ally.

On Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, US National Security Adviser John Bolton blamed Iran naval mines for attacks on four shipping tankers off the coast of Fujairah.

More to follow.