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Saudi-led coalition intensifies airstrikes against Yemen after death of Saleh

The Saudi-led coalition has intensified its airstrikes against the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and other areas following the death of the former Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The coalition’s warplanes conducted dozens of air strikes on positions of the Houthi Ansarullah movement in Sana’a and other northern provinces early Wednesday despite calls for a humanitarian ceasefire in the country, Yemen’s al-Masirah television reported.

The coalition also bombed the presidential palace, Saleh’s residence and other houses of his family members.

Local residents said loud explosions were heard in downtown Sana’a. There has been no immediate report of casualties.

Ta’iz, Hajjah and Sa’dah also came under attack by Saudi warplanes.

Saleh was killed on Monday while attempting to escape Sana’a to Ma’arab Province. This came shortly after he broke ranks with the Houthi Ansarullah movement in favor of the Saudi-led military coalition, which has been pounding Yemen to reinstall its former Riyadh-allied government.

On Tuesday afternoon, tens of thousands of Yemenis staged a demonstration against the Saudi-led war against Yemen, calling for unity among all the factions in the country.

Ansarullah fighters inspect the damage after the Saudi-led coalition targeted Yemen’s presidential palace in the capital Sana’a on December 5, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The Houthi movement has been both running state affairs and defending the country against the Saudi aggression.

More than 12,000 people have been killed since the onset of Saudi Arabia’s deadly campaign against Yemen in March 2015. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war.

According to the UN, the country is experiencing “the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet.”

The new round of airstrikes came a day after Saleh’s son Ahmed Ali vowed to lead a campaign against the Ansarullah movement.

In a briefing to the Security Council, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed urged all parties to exercise restraint.

According to Yemen’s Interior Ministry, Yemeni forces, backed by fighters from the popular Houthi movement, are in full control of all positions previously held by Saleh’s militias in Sana’a.

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