Saudi Soldiers Killed Near Yemen Border: Local Media

At least five Saudi soldiers have been killed in separate clashes with Shia Houthi militiamen near Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, Saudi media has reported, according to Anadolu Agency.

One of the soldiers was killed on the border with Yemen’s northwestern Saada province, long regarded as a Houthi stronghold, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

According to a separate SPA report, a second soldier was killed elsewhere near the border, while a third reportedly succumbed to injuries sustained earlier in clashes with Houthi fighters near the Al-Rabuae border area.

The news agency, however, failed to specify when exactly the three casualties occurred.

On Wednesday, Saudi daily Okaz reported that a Saudi military officer had also been killed near the kingdom’s border with Yemen.

While the newspaper did not provide the time of his death, reports on Saudi social media indicated that a Saudi officer had been killed on Monday — the first day of the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday — in clashes near the border.

And on Tuesday, private Saudi news website Akhbar 24 reported that a soldier from the Saudi city of Jazan had also been killed near the border with Yemen.

– Clashes ongoing

On Thursday, several Saudi media outlets reported that fierce clashes were ongoing between Saudi forces and Houthi fighters in the kingdom’s south, leading to the death of several of the latter.

According to media reports, Saudi forces killed a number of Houthis after the latter mounted an attack on the village of Al-Qarn in the southern Saudi city of Najran.

One day earlier, Yemen’s Houthi-linked SABA news agency reported that Houthi forces had shelled Jazan’s Al-Dukhan, Al-Sudanah and Al-Khashin districts, killing two Saudi soldiers.

The same news agency also reported that warplanes from a Saudi-led Arab coalition had carried out 15 airstrikes on Houthi positions in Yemen’s Saada province, especially in the Baqim directorate.

On Thursday, a Yemeni military source claimed that pro-government forces had made several gains in Yemen’s southern Lahij province after overnight clashes with the Houthis and their allies.

According to Qaed Nasr, a spokesman for the pro-government “popular resistance” in the Karish area, pro-government forces in northern Lahij captured the Al-Jabal al-Ahmar region — along with the hills surrounding Karish — following violent clashes that continued into the early hours of Thursday.

Al-Jabal al-Ahmar is of strategic importance as it overlooks the road linking the Lahij and Taiz provinces.

Yemen has been racked by chaos since late 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.

In March of last year, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive campaign in Yemen aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and restoring Hadi’s embattled government.