Saudi Arabia’s Fighter Jets Strike Yemen’s Capital Sanaa Amid Expiry Of Ultimatum Given To Houthis

The Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia struck the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in the early hours of Friday after the expiry of the ultimatum given to the Ansar Allah (Houthi) movement to remove weapons from the Al-Taura stadium, a source in local authorities told Sputnik.

“Combat aircraft of the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia carried out two raids on Sanaa capital, striking a supply camp in the center of the capital of Sanaa,” the source said.

In turn, the Arab coalition told the Saudi TV channel Al Ekhbariya that during the time given to the Houthis, they moved weapons from the stadium to the camp. According to a statement published by the media, the coalition managed to hit nine warehouses.

Earlier on Friday, the Arab coalition announced the expiry of the six-hour deadline needed for the Houthis to comply with the ultimatum on the removal of weapons from the Al-Taura stadium in Sanaa, where the national football team is based.

In response to the ultimatum, the leader of the Houthi rebels, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, urged UN representatives to check the stadium for the storage of weapons in which the Arab coalition had accused the movement. Al-Houthi promised to transfer the weapons, if any, to UN staff. The leader of the rebels compared the actions of the Saudis to the Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip.

Saudi F-15s
Two F-15SA Advanced Eagles escorted two US B-52 Stratofortress bombers while crossing
Saudi Arabia’s airspace on Dec. 10. 2020. (via Twitter)

US Seizes Weapons

The US Navy earlier seized a stateless vessel with about 1,400 AK-47 rifles allegedly shipped by Iran to Houthi rebels in Yemen via the Arabian Sea, United States Naval Forces Central Command said in a press release.

“US 5th Fleet ships seized approximately 1,400 AK-47 assault rifles and 226,600 rounds of ammunition from a stateless fishing vessel during a flag verification boarding in accordance with customary international law in the North Arabian Sea, Dec. 20,” the release said on Wednesday. “The stateless vessel was assessed to have originated in Iran and transited international waters along a route historically used to traffic weapons unlawfully to the Houthis in Yemen.”


The Central Command said in the release that the five crew members identified themselves as being nationals of Yemen and will be returned to their country.

The US naval forces sank the vessel after the Central Command determined it represented a hazard to navigation, the release added.

Earlier in December, the United States seized Iranian weapons, including 171 surface-to-air missiles and some 1.1 million barrels of Iranian petroleum products from vessels in the Arabian Sea destined for Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government forces, led by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, and the Houthi rebels. Since March 2015, the Saudi-led Arab alliance, working in cooperation with Hadi’s forces, has been conducting air, land and sea operations against the Houthis. The conflict has created the arguably biggest humanitarian crisis in the world.