Top Yemen brass injured in rebel drone strike dies, say medics

Soldiers inspect the scene of a Houthi drone attack at Yemeni government military parade in al-Anad air base, Lahaj province, Yemen January 10, 2019. — Reuters pic
Soldiers inspect the scene of a Houthi drone attack at Yemeni government military parade in al-Anad air base, Lahaj province, Yemen January 10, 2019. — Reuters pic

DUBAI, Jan 13 — A high-ranking Yemeni intelligence official injured in a Houthi rebel drone attack on the country's largest air base died of his wounds today, medical sources said.

Intelligence Brigadier General Saleh Tamah was wounded on Thursday in a strike on a military parade in Al-Anad air base, in government-held Lahij province some 60 kilometres north of Yemen's second city Aden.

Medical sources told AFP that Tamah underwent several surgeries in a hospital in Aden but died this morning.

At least seven loyalists — including Tamah — were killed and 11 injured in Thursday's incident, which threatens to hamper United Nations-led peace efforts.

Among those injured were Yemen's deputy chief of staff Saleh al-Zandani, senior army commander Fadel Hasan and Lahij governor Ahmad Abdullah al-Turki.

Turki and Zandani were transported to Saudi Arabia for treatment, a Yemeni official told AFP.

The UN voiced alarm on Friday following the attack and urged “all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint and refrain from further escalation.”

At talks in Sweden last month, the UN brokered several agreements between the Iran-aligned Huthi rebels and the Saudi-backed government seen as the best chance of ending nearly four years of devastating conflict.

The warring sides agreed on truce deals for the key rebel-held aid port of Hodeida and battleground third city Taez.

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

The war between the Huthis and loyalist troops escalated in March 2015, when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile and a Saudi-led military coalition intervened.

Since then, the conflict has killed nearly 10,000 people and unleashed the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN.

UN aid officials say 80 per cent of the population — 24 million people — are in need of aid and nearly 10 million are just one step away from famine. — AFP

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