63 children among 375 killed in Yemen attacks into Saudi Arabia
Mortars and rockets fired at Saudi Arabian towns and villages have killed 375 civilians, including 63 children, since the start of the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen in late March, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, spokesman of the coalition forces and advisor at the office of the minister of defense, told Reuters.
He said that the Houthi militia and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh had fired more than 40,000 projectiles across the border since the war began.
“Now our rules of engagement are: you are close to the border, you are killed,” he said.
In a measure of how fierce the fighting on the frontier continues to be, nearly 130 mortars and 15 missiles were fired by the Houthis and Saleh’s forces at Saudi border positions on Monday alone, Assiri said in an interview in Riyadh.
The civilians killed in Saudi Arabia included both Saudis and expatriates, Assiri said.
Along the Saudi-Yemen border, the constant attacks by the Houthis and Saleh’s forces have forced the Saudi authorities to evacuate a dozen villages and over 7,000 people from frontier districts, closing over 500 schools, Assiri said.
He said the coalition had taken “hundreds” of Yemeni prisoners in fighting along the border.
Assiri acknowledged that the forces were locked in what he described as a “static war,” but said the coalition was now fighting to control the mountainous Nahm region, which controls access to the capital Sanaa 70 km to the southwest.
Assiri said the coalition was now allowing more ships to dock both at Aden and the Red Sea port of Hodeida. The coalition conducts random inspections of cargo, he said, but added that it believes some weapons are smuggled through.