Yemen's Saleh says ready for 'new page' with Saudi-led coalition

Supporters of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh rally in Sana'a in March

Supporters of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh rally in Sana'a in March

Aircraft from the US-backed Saudi-led coalition bombed Houthi positions in Sanaa overnight on Sunday, residents and local media said, aiming to shore up supporters of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh as they battle the Houthi group.

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes have targeted the Houthis in that fighting.

Yemen is one of the Middle East's poorest countries, and the war has caused one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of recent years.

The coalition, which accuses the rebels of being a proxy for Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran, says the blockade is meant to stop the flow of arms to the rebels from Tehran.

More than 40 Houthi combatants were killed and dozens were injured in clashes that took place in Sanaa on Saturday, December 2, between the Houthis and the militias of ousted Yemeni President Saleh, according to MENA.

Yemen descended into violence in late 2014 when the Houthis marched on Sanaa and seized control of the government.

The group, backed by government troops loyal to Saleh, fanned out across the country, forcing Hadi to flee to Riyadh and inviting the Saudi-led alliance to join the fighting.

The $20 billion Barakah nuclear power plant is in Abu Dhabi's far western desert.

Royal Air Force spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki, who spoke to the Saudi Press Agency, said the missile was likely headed to the Saudi city of Khamis Mushait, but Saudi forces intercepted and destroyed it before it could hit its target.

Yemen's war has killed more than 10,000 people since 2015, displaced more than two million people, and caused a cholera outbreak infecting almost one million people. The plant is in any case capable of dealing with any threats due to its defense system, the agency added citing the UAE's emergency and crisis management authorities. "And enjoys all measures of nuclear safety and security that such grand projects require".

United Nations humanitarian affairs chief Mark Lowcock said on Friday that the Saudi-led military coalition must fully lift its blockade on Yemen, where 7 or 8 million are "right on the brink of starvation", Reuters reported.

The Barakah project, which is being built by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) (015760.KS), is expected to be completed and become operational in 2018, the UAE energy minister has said.

For the Houthis to launch a missile from Yemen at the UAE, it would likely have to fly over Saudi Arabia's vast southeastern desert in order to reach Abu Dhabi. A few months ago they said they had "successfully" test fired a missile towards Abu Dhabi.

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