May 22, 2015 / 7:58 AM / 3 years ago

Saudi-led coalition steps up air strikes on Houthis in Yemen's Sanaa: residents

CAIRO (Reuters) - Saudi-led warplanes extended air strikes on Iranian-backed Houthi militia in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Friday, residents in the area said.

Fire is seen from the Noqum Mountain after it was hit by an air strike in Yemen's capital Sanaa May 19, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi

They told Reuters that the strikes focused on the presidential compound district in Sanaa, which the Shi‘ite Muslim rebels seized in September, and Houthi military sites in mountainous areas on the outskirts of the city.

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war eight weeks ago to try to roll back Houthi advances across the Arabian Peninsula country and restore exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in power.

Sanaa residents said air strikes also continued overnight on fighters loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh who are allied with the Houthis in the conflict.

There were also 10 air raids overnight on Houthi and pro-Saleh forces in the oil-producing province of Marib, according to residents in the region.

In Saada province which borders Saudi Arabia in northwestern Yemen, the Houthis said they had seized several Saudi-controlled military sites and taken weapons and equipment there.

Reporting by Mohamed Ghobari; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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