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UAE Pounds Yemen Rebels After Coalition's Deadliest Day

  • VOA News

A Shiite fighter known as a Houthi stands guard in front of buildings destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike in Sana'a, Sept. 5, 2015.

A Shiite fighter known as a Houthi stands guard in front of buildings destroyed by a Saudi-led airstrike in Sana'a, Sept. 5, 2015.

Warplanes from the United Arab Emirates bombed Shi'ite Houthi targets across Yemen Saturday, a day after at least 55 soldiers from a
Saudi-led coalition were killed in a rebel missile strike.

Medical sources at hospitals in the capital, Sana'a, which has been under effective control of the Iranian-allied Houthi militia for almost a year, said about 24 civilians were killed in the city as a result of the attacks, Reuters reported, citing the Emirates News Agency WAM.

The air strikes came a day after 10 Saudi troops were killed in the rebel missile attack that hit an ammunition depot in Marib, about 120 kilometers east of Sana'a. That attack also left 45 Emirati and five Bahraini soldiers dead, Saudi media said Saturday, in the kingdom's first losses inside the country.

It was the first public acknowledgement by the Saudis that they have ground troops in Yemen, where they lead a coalition targeting the Iranian-backed Shi'ite Houthi rebels and their allies.

Friday's death toll was the highest for the coalition since it began its assault on the Houthis in March, and is one of the worst losses of life in the history of the UAE military.

The Saudi-led and U.S.-backed coalition, made up mainly of Gulf nations, has been launching airstrikes against the rebels since March, part of an increasingly assertive military policy by the Saudis and the UAE aimed at restoring exiled President Abdu-Rabu Mansour Hadi's Sunni government to power.

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