Saudi Warplanes Launch Massive Bombing Campaign Against Northern Yemen

Civilian Deaths Reported as Saudi Planes Target Shi'ite Region

by Jason Ditz, November 05, 2009

Following a Tuesday raid against a Saudi border post by Yemeni rebels, the Saudi Air Force has launched a series of heavy air strikes against Northern Yemen, hitting deep within the territory of Yemen’s Shi’ite population.

The Saudi government confirmed the strikes, and insisted that a portion of its southern territory briefly lost to the rebels had been captured. The government confirmed that its strikes were not limited to the border region but were also around Sa’dah, the ancient capital of the nation’s former Shi’ite religious dynasty.

Members of the rebel group reported that the Saudi attacks had killed a significant number of civilians and had struck a market in a northern town. The region, one of the world’s poorest, has little infrastructure and journalists are generally not free to operate, making it difficult to confirm civilian deaths

Despite the Saudi government being very forthcoming about the attack, the Yemeni government angrily denied that any such thing was happening, insisting it was all a “myth” invented by the Shi’ite rebels. Yemen’s government has strong ties with the Saudi government, and has promised a war “without mercy” against the nation’s Shi’ite north.

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