Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed Shiite rebel positions in both north and south Yemen early Wednesday, setting off explosions and drawing return fire from anti-aircraft guns. Airstrikes also hit a factory in a western port city and 35 workers died there, according to witnesses and officials.
The bombings came as the Saudi-led campaign against Yemen’s Shiite rebels known as Houthis entered its seventh day. The campaign aims to weaken the Iran-backed rebels and halt their power grab. The rebels are also allied with forces loyal to Yemen’s deposed president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Since their advance began last year, the Houthis have overrun the Yemeni capital, Sana’a and several provinces, and have forced the current president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee abroad from the southern port city of Aden.
Wednesday’s airstrikes targeted rebel-controlled army camps in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida and hit warehouses belonging to a factory that produces dairy products.
Anti-aircraft guns returned fire before the factory itself was set ablaze. Parts of its main building collapsed from explosions with workers still inside, according to at least five eyewitnesses and officials. According to the medical center in Hodeida, at least 35 workers were killed, many of them crushed by the rubble or burned to death.
Report by the Associated Press.
571 Chinese nationals evacuated from Yemen
After more than 100 Chinese returned to Beijing, more are preparing to go home. As the conflict in Yemen worsens, 571 Chinese nationals have now been evacuated safely. CCTV’s Li Qiong filed this report.