A brutal five-year conflict, drop in foreign aid, widespread malnutrition and a deadly pandemic have combined to form a humanitarian disaster in Yemen as the Saudi-led coalition starts a new operation.

Workers salvage oil canisters from the wreckage of a vehicle oil store hit by Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa, Yemen, July 2, 2020.
Workers salvage oil canisters from the wreckage of a vehicle oil store hit by Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa, Yemen, July 2, 2020. (AP)

A Saudi-led coalition has started a military operation against Yemen's Houthi movement after it stepped up cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, Saudi state TV has reported on Wednesday.

In Yemen, Houthi-run Al Masirah TV reported air strikes on the capital Sanaa, Marib, Al Jouf, Al Bayda, Hajjah and Saada provinces throughout the day and into the night.

Residents in Sanaa described the air raids as violent. Al Masirah said late on Wednesday a number of people had been injured there.

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Hunt for Houthis

The Western-backed coalition with Saudi Arabia and UAE as the main partners have been battling the Iran-aligned Houthi movement for five years. The coalition said earlier that there would be a news conference on the operation that aims to neutralise the Houthis military capabilities, Al Ekhbariya channel and Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV said.

Missiles fired to Riyadh

Last week, Houthi fighters fired missiles that reached the Saudi capital Riyadh in the first such assault since a six-week ceasefire prompted by the novel coronavirus epidemic expired in late May. The coalition said it intercepted the attack.

The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the Saudi-backed government from the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014. The Houthis say they are fighting a corrupt system.

The conflict is largely seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies