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Yemen rebel drone attack hits 'senior leaders'

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Yemen rebel drone attack hits senior leaders
Yemen rebel drone attack hits 'senior leaders'. picture-alliance/AP Photo/W. Qubady
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Houthi rebels on Thursday launched a drone strike on a military parade at a government-controlled air base, killing and wounding "officers and senior leaders," Yemeni officials said.

The attack comes as a fragile ceasefire aimed at providing a foundation for peace talks flounders.

What we so know far:

  • A drone attacked a military parade at the al-Anad Air Base in the southern Lahj province, just to the north of Aden, leaving "dozens of dead and wounded," according to Houthi media.
  • Yemeni military officials said the attack killed and wounded "officers and senior leaders," including the government's deputy chief of staff.
  • Houthi media said the rebels had targeted "the leadership of the invaders," an apparent reference to the Saudi-led coalition waging war in Yemen.
  • Yemeni Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani said the attack is "another testament that Iranians continue to arm Houthis and destabilize Yemen."

Read more: Yemen: The devastating war waged with European weapons

Strategic military base

The al-Anad Air Base is the largest of its kind in Yemen. Until the Houthis launched a military campaign culminating in the capture of large swathes of land in 2014, the base was used by the US for intelligence and counterterrorism operations.

Washington withdrew its troops and military hardware from the base in March 2015, days before Houthi rebels would take over the facility.

However, Saudi-led forces gained control of the air base by August 2015 as part of Riyadh's military campaign backing the internationally recognized government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Since then, it has become a central hub for coalition operations.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which has triggered one of the worst humanitarian disasters in the world.

Read more: Yemen is 'the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world'

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ls/msh (AP, dpa)

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