Yemen’s Houthis seize provincial capital despite Saudi-led raids

People walk past car damaged by airstrike in SanaaBy Mohammed Mukhashaf ADEN (Reuters) – Houthi fighters, backed by supporters of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh entered the provincial capital of the mainly Sunni Shabwa province in eastern Yemen on Thursday, residents said, despite intense Saudi-led air strikes against the group. Residents said local tribal chiefs and security officials facilitated the entry of the Houthi forces to the city of Ataq, where they took control of the offices of the local government and security forces compounds. Saudi Arabia, backed by four Gulf Arab states and other regional Arab allies, has mounted two weeks of air strikes against the Iran-allied Houthis after they pushed south toward Aden, the stronghold of Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Earlier in the day, residents of al-Siddah district in central Yemen said they woke to find al Qaeda flags flying over local government offices.


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