Saudi-led coalition to attack ‘secret drone laboratory’ in Sanaa

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The coalition says it is conducting fresh raids on the Houthi-held Yemeni capital Sanaa, warning residents to stay away from the targeted areas.

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The Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Houthis says it is launching airstrikes on “legitimate” military bases in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

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In a statement to Saudi state media, the coalition on Wednesday asked citizens not to gather around, or contact, the targeted areas.

These include a building under construction in Sanaa that the Houthis were said to be using as a secret laboratory for drones.

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The plans for the new raid come a day after Saudi Arabia-led forces bombed a “secret” ballistic missile launch site in Sanaa.

It was not clear whether there were any casualties in Tuesday’s raid.

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition has been fighting the Houthis since 2015, when it intervened in the poor country to sideline the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after an Iran-aligned government ousted his government from the capital.

In recent months, the Houthis have intensified cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia using drones and missiles. The rebel group said on Saturday it had launched 14 drones in several Saudi cities, including Saudi Aramco facilities in Jeddah.

The latest clashes came as the United Nations warned that Yemen’s seven-year-old war would kill at least 377,000 people by the end of the year.

The United Nations Development Program said in a new report on Tuesday that nearly 60 percent of those deaths may have been due to indirect consequences of war such as lack of safe water, hunger and disease.

It said that at least 150,000 people would have died in the fighting.

The United Nations has described the conflict in Yemen as the world’s biggest humanitarian disaster.

Fighting has intensified on several fronts in recent weeks, mostly near the strategic city of Marib, the last major stronghold of the internationally recognized government in Yemen’s oil-rich north.

Thousands of rebel and pro-government fighters have been killed in fighting for the city, which is home to three million people.

The UN refugee agency said in separate comments on Tuesday that it is “seriously concerned about the safety and security of civilians in Yemen’s Marib province, which includes more than one million people estimated to be displaced”. “.

UNHCR spokeswoman Shabia Mantu in Geneva said some 40,000 people had been forced to flee to Marib since September.

“Health conditions such as acute watery diarrhea, malaria and upper respiratory tract infections are common among the newly displaced,” she said.

Meanwhile, the International Organization for Migration said Marib’s 137 displacement sites have seen a nearly tenfold increase in new arrivals since September, with more than 40 people sharing a small tent.

“We haven’t seen as much despair in Marib in the past two years as we’ve seen in the past two months,” said Christa Rottensteiner, head of the IOM’s Yemen mission.

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