JEDDAH: Saudi armed forces repelled sporadic attempts by hostile elements from Yemen to infiltate the kingdom on Saturday, killing tens of the intruders, the Coalition command said. Utv Pakistan Report
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) late Saturday, the coalition said a Saudi army officer and six soldiers were “martyred” during the clashes.
The officer was identified as Captain Abdul Razzaq Al-Mulhem.
Coalition warplanes destroyed many military vehicles used by the intruders, who were Houthi militias and loyalists of deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The fighting took place along the Saudi-Yemen border in Najran province.
The attacks were “a flagrant violation of the agreed truce between the two sides,” said the coalition, which is fighting to restore the UN-recognized government of President Abed Rabo Mansour Hadi.
The flare-up in fighting was one of the worst since peace talks began in Kuwait in April between Yemen’s government and the Houthis to end a 16-month conflict.
A truce that began in April has slowed the momentum of fighting, but violence continues almost daily.
On Monday, five Saudi border guards were killed in similar border clashes in the Najran area.
Southern Saudi Arabia, especially border areas with Yemen, have come under sporadic attack since Riyadh took the lead in March 2015 in an Arab military coalition battling Shiite Houthi rebels who control northern Yemen.
Around 100 members of the Saudi forces and civilians have been killed in skirmishes, by artillery fire or land mines inside the kingdom’s borders since the coalition launched its campaign.
Prospects for progress in the talks dimmed further this week when Houthi rebels and their allies in the political party of the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, announced they had decided to form a political council to unilaterally rule the country.
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the United Nations Yemen envoy, said the move gravely violated UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which calls on the Houthis “to refrain from further unilateral actions that could undermine the political transition in Yemen”.
Ahmed made a last-ditch bid Saturday to salvage the talks by proposing to extend them for one week, after the government delegation said it planned to quit the Kuwait discussions.
More than 6,400 Yemenis, most of them civilians, have been killed since last March, and the fighting has driven 2.8 Yemenis from their homes.
Kuwait has hosted Yemen peace talks since April but the negotiations have failed to make any progress.