Saudi Arabia has launched a large military incursion across the border into northern Yemen, using and artillery bombardments to try to end a Shiite rebellion inside its troubled southern neighbor, Arab diplomats and the rebels said Thursday.The BBC adds that the Houthis claim that Saudi Arabia dropped phosphorus bombs on them.
The northern rebels, known as Hawthis, have been battling Yemeni government forces intensively over the past few months in the latest flare-up of a sporadic conflict that has lasted five years. The Hawthis are based in northern Saada province, which borders Saudi Arabia.
"Saudi jets dropped bombs on a crowded areas including local market in the northern province of Saada," Hawthi spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam told The Associated Press. "They (Saudis) claim they are targeting al-Hawthis, but regrettably they are killing civilians like the government does," he added.
"The attacks were followed by hundreds of shells from the border," Abdel-Salam said.
There was no immediate word on casualties.
Two Arab diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AP Saudi Tornado and F-15 warplanes have been bombarding targets inside since Wednesday afternoon, inflicting significant casualties on the rebels. The diplomats spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not allowed to talks to the media.
They said army units and special forces have been sent to northern Yemen, and that several Saudi towns on the border have been evacuated.
So a Western-backed nation, using American and European airplanes, struck against an Islamist extremist group across its border, killing innocent civilians.
According to the Goldstone Standard, it sounds like numerous war crimes are occurring.
I would love to see copies of the leaflets that the moral Saudis no doubt dropped ahead of the bombing of the market, as well as the results of the internal investigation that Saudi Arabia is certainly embarking on right now.
(h/t Capt Diggs in an LGF link)
UPDATE: I don't know if it is true, but the Houthis are claiming that Saudi Arabia is putting up a "separation fence" in Yemen territory:
Saudi forces opened fire on the crowd following conflicts with local residents over the construction of a separation fence on Yemeni soil," said a Wednesday statement released by members of the Shia group.We need more international law experts to specify all the clear legal distinctions between the good Saudis and the evil Israelis, and between the evil Houthis and the good Hamas members.
Consequently, the incident inflicted the loss of numerous lives, as well as serious injuries upon both sides.
"Residents of the area reject any fence which would have a negative economic impact on them and cut them off from their brethren on the other side," the statement also noted.