ADEN, Yemen, The Saudi Arabia-led coalition airdropped weapons in an attempt to support the forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the ongoing fighting with Houthi rebels in Yemen’s capital Sanaa overnight Monday, a military source said.

Overnight, the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa witnessed one of the toughest and most terrifying nights since the start of war in 2015. Street gunbattles intensified in different neighborhoods throughout the city, with uninterrupted airstrikes by the Saudi-led warplanes.

A military commander loyal to Saleh told Xinhua by phone saying that “overnight, the coalition planes airdropped weapons and different kinds of communications equipment to the commanders who are leading the anti-Houthi uprising in Sanaa.”

On Sunday, Anwar Gargash, the United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted that the uprising against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels “needs support” in order “to protect the Arabian Peninsula from Iran.”

In two tweets posted on his twitter account with 587,000 followers, Gargash said whatever the outcome of the “blessed uprising” in Sanaa, it shows that the Houthi control is temporary.

This is the first such airdrop in Sanaa since the start of the fighting three days ago and the ferocious fighting in the country’s capital might enter a new phase following the Saudi intervention with providing logistical support for Saleh, according to local observers.

The pro-Saleh soldiers were also air-covered by Saudi-led warplanes during the overnight fighting with Houthis who made progress and seized key neighborhoods in Sanaa.

Many sites and military camps manned by the Shiite Houthi group were accurately hit by Saudi-led aerial bombardment, providing support for beleaguered Republican Guard Forces deployed only around Saleh’s houses in Sanaa.

Meanwhile, nearly 2 million civilians in Sanaa, particularly those civilians living in the fighting scene near the diplomatic zone and other surrounding areas are trapped inside their homes for the third day as a result of ferocious clashes that are still ongoing across the city.

“Many families are caught in crossfire and no one can escape. Snipers were deployed everywhere and some families are running out of food, water and other basic essentials,” one of Sanaa-based residents informed Xinhua by phone.

The UNICEF branch in Yemen said in a statement that “if this fighting continues, the horrors of war will stay with Yemen’s children with far reaching consequences on their future,” adding that the children are terrified. “They can’t sleep, play, or go to school.”

The ongoing street fightings between two former allies in Yemen, the Houthis and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, are set to aggravate the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

The two sides allied and seized power in late 2014, triggering a civil war and a military intervention by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

Around 23 million out of 27 million Yemeni population now live in the Houthi-run northern regions. Many fear that the fighting result in massive civilian casualties in Sanaa.

The war-torn nation, which is also plagued by a severe cholera epidemic, is now coping with the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe as more than two thirds of the population need humanitarian assistance, the UN says.



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