http://almashareq.com/en_GB/articles/cnmi_am/newsbriefs/2019/01/10/newsbrief-01

2019-01-10

Houthi drone kills 6 soldiers at Yemen's largest airbase

A Houthi drone hit Yemen's largest air base Thursday (January 10th), killing six government soldiers during a military parade, AFP reported.

The Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) said they carried out the strike on al-Anad air base, in government-held Lahj province some 60 kilometres north of Yemen's second city Aden.

At least 12 people were wounded in the attack, including top commanders, according to medics at the Ibn Khaldoun hospital in the provincial capital Houta.

Footage of the attack showed a drone exploding over a podium around which dozens of military personnel were standing.

Soldiers scrambled to carry wounded comrades to military vehicles, while a man holding a camera bled on the ground.

An AFP correspondent at the scene said that journalists were among the wounded.

Yemen's deputy chief of staff Saleh al-Zandani, intelligence Brig. Gen. Saleh Tamah and senior army commander Fadel Hasan were among the wounded, along with Lahj governor Ahmad Abdullah al-Turki, doctors at Ibn Khaldoun hospital told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Chief of staff Gen. Abdullah al-Nakhi was also at the base at the time of the attack, a pro-government official said. He was not named among the casualties.

The attack came one day after UN envoy Martin Griffiths warned "substantial progress" was needed on the ground before full-blown negotiations could be launched on ending the civil war.

The latest strike is likely to create a new obstacle to the launch of formal peace talks.

A new meeting is to be held in the Jordanian capital Amman next week to follow up on a huge prisoner swap agreed by the warring parties last month.

The UN is working to schedule a new round of consultations, possibly in Kuwait, aimed at drafting a political framework for an end to the conflict.

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