Sanaa, Mar 30 (efe-epa).- A coalition led by Saudi Arabia on Monday launched at least 15 airstrikes on the Yemeni capital held by Houthi rebels amid escalating tensions despite the looming threat posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Houthis’ al-Masira television channel reported that a man was killed and two others injured in the attacks.
Another strike targeted the al-Hodeida province located on the Red Sea, with no casualties reported, according to the source.
Six attacks targeted a military academy in al-Rawdha outskirt north of the city, and three others hit a military site in the northwestern outskirts, Efe verified.
The coalition’s warplanes also attacked al-Dailami airbase which is adjacent to Sanaa airport north of the capital and other sites in the area.
The Saudi-led coalition, which has intervened in the Yemen war since 2015, announced a “military operation” to “neutralize and destroy legitimate military targets” of the Houthi rebels.
The attacks came as “precautionary measures to protect the civilians from any collateral damage,” the coalition added.
Months after tense calm in Sanaa, the Iran-backed Houthi on Sunday launched two missiles on Riyadh and the border province of Jizan.
Last week, the Houthis and the internationally recognized government led by President Abd Rabu Mansur Hadi welcomed calls by the United Nations for a “global ceasefire” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The calls came on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the coalition’s intervention.
Yemen has not yet reported any coronavirus cases, according to the World Health Organization.
The country would be unable to handle a health crisis of this magnitude, while the Houthi rebels have asked for international aid to help fight the Covid-19 virus.
The outbreak emerged in Wuhan, the capital city of the Chinese province of Hubei, in December.
It has since spread to 177 countries, infecting more than 755,000 people, of which around 157,00 have recovered, and killed more than 35,000.
China has reported more than 82,000 cases, around 76,000 recoveries and 3,300 deaths.
Global hotspots of infection have sprung up in the United States, Italy, Spain, which have all surpassed the Asian country on the number of confirmed cases. EFE-EPA