RIYADH—The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen said on Sunday that the Houthis have fired 430 ballistic missiles and 851 armed drones into Saudi Arabia since the war started in 2015, killing 59 Saudi civilians.
The spokesman of the Saudi alliance, General Turki al-Malki, said the Iran-aligned movement had been using Sanaa airport as a base to launch attacks on the kingdom, an allegation the Houthis deny.
The conflict is largely seen as another proxy war between Middle East rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran. Malki shared videos with reporters which he said showed military advisers from the Iran-backed Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah, helping the Houthis in Yemen. Hezbollah and the Houthis deny that the Islamist terrorist group has a role in the war.
Yemen has been mired in violence since 2014 when the Houthis took over the capital Sanaa and ousted Yemen’s internationally recognised government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened against the Houthi movement in 2015 but the war has stalemated for years, and killed tens of thousands of Yemenis, mostly civilians.
The Houthis have demanded Saudi Arabia lift a blockade on Yemen ports and Sanaa airport as a condition to start ceasefire talks. Malki denied there was a blockade on Yemen, adding that Sanaa airport remains open for U.N. and humanitarian organisations’ flights to address the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.