Saudi Airstrikes Kill Around 16 in Yemen's Houthi-controlled Province, Local Media Reports

Strikes come four days after Iran-aligned Houthis said they would stop aiming missile and drone attacks at Saudi Arabia if the Saudi-led coalition responds in kind

Houthi followers attend a gathering to receive food supplies from tribesmen in Sanaa, Yemen September 21, 2019
\ KHALED ABDULLAH/ REUTERS

Air strikes blamed on the Saudi-led coalition killed at least 16 people in Yemen's Houthi-controlled Dalea province on Tuesday, two residents and the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV said.

The strikes come four days after the Houthis, a group aligned with Iran, said they would stop aiming missile and drone attacks at Saudi Arabia if the Saudi-led coalition targeting Yemen does the same.

The coalition spokesman said later on Tuesday that Houthi forces fired a ballistic missile from Amran, northwest of the capital Sanaa, but it fell inside Houthi territory in Yemen.

Earlier this month the Houthis claimed an assault on Saudi oil facilities that initially halved the kingdom's production. Washington and Riyadh blame Iran for that attack.

>> Read more: Attack on Saudi oil facilities: The war is in Yemen, the solution is in Washington ■ The Sunni-U.S. alliance against Iran has weakened, and Trump is partly to blame

Al-Masirah TV, run by the Houthis, said 16 people in one building - including seven children - died in strikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition. There was no immediate comment from the coalition.

Saudi Arabia leads a coalition that intervened in 2015 to restore the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which the Houthis ousted from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014. It has carried out many air strikes in Houthi areas.

Two residents told Reuters 17 had died in the strikes on Qataba, a frontline town which lies on the main north-south route between Houthi-controlled Sanaa and the southern port city of Aden. Aden is nominally the interim seat of Yemen's internationally recognised government, but southern separatists seized control of the city last month.

Violence from both sides during the war has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

Earlier this month nine people, including three children, died when shelling from Houthi-controlled territory hit their house south of the major port city of Hodeidah, medical sources told Reuters.

The Medecins Sans Frontiers medical charity said 8 women and one child had been admitted to one of their nearby hospitals after shelling that day.