Smoke and dust rise from the site of an air strike on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah
Smoke and dust rise from the site of an airstrike on the outskirts of Sanaa, Yemen, July 1, 2020.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - A Saudi-led coalition has started a military operation against Yemen's Houthi movement after Houthis stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, Saudi state television reported Wednesday.

In Yemen, Houthi-run Al Masirah TV reported airstrikes on Sanaa, Marib, al-Jouf, al-Bayda, Hajjah and Saada provinces throughout the day and into the night.

Residents in Sanaa described the air raids as violent. Al Masirah said late Wednesday that a number of people had been injured there.

The Western-backed coalition with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the main partners has been battling the Iran-aligned Houthi movement for five years. The coalition said earlier that there would be a news conference on the operation, Al-Ekhbariya channel and Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV said.

Last week, Houthis fired missiles that reached the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in the first such assault since a six-week cease-fire prompted by the novel coronavirus epidemic expired in late May. The coalition said it intercepted the attack.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed government from Sanaa in late 2014. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.

The conflict is largely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

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