Yemen's southern forces spokesman said that between 30 to 40 soldiers were killed and at least 60 wounded, adding the death toll may still rise as rescuers were still clearing the scene.

Smoke billows from the site of Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa, Yemen, March 7, 2021.
Smoke billows from the site of Saudi-led air strikes in Sanaa, Yemen, March 7, 2021. (Khaled Abdullah/File Photo / Reuters)

At least 30 soldiers have been killed and 60 wounded in Houthi strikes on a military base belonging to forces of the Saudi-led coalition in southwest Yemen, a spokesman for the southern forces and medical sources said.

The Houthis have carried out several attacks using armed drones and ballistic missiles on the Al Anad military base, Yemeni southern forces spokesman Mohamed al Naqeeb said on Sunday.

Naqeeb said that between 30 to 40 soldiers were killed and at least 60 wounded, adding the death toll may still rise as rescuers were still clearing the scene.

The southern forces are part of the Saudi-led coalition.

There was no immediate comment from the rebel side.

Two medical sources said several bodies had arrived at Lahj province's main hospital along with another 16 wounded people. It was unclear if civilians were among the casualties.

Residents said that several loud blasts were heard in the Al Anad area, which is located at some 70 km (43 miles) north of the southern port city of Aden.

Several other residents from the disputed central city of Taiz said they heard ballistic missiles fired from launchers positioned in the Houthi-held eastern suburbs of the city.

READ MORE:  Who are the Houthis?

Years of conflict

In 2019, the Houthis said they launched a drone strike on Al Anad during a military parade, with medics and government sources saying at the time at least six loyalists were killed – including a high-ranking intelligence official.

The war started in 2014 when the Houthis invaded Sanaa and ousted the government of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in March 2015 to restore Hadi to power but the ensuing conflict, now stalemated, has killed tens of thousands and caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The attacks came at a time when peace talks between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis, and backed by the United Nations and the United States, have stalled after both sides failed to reach a compromise deal.

The talks are focused on steps to lift a blockade on Houthi-held ports and Sanaa airport in return for a promise from the Iran-aligned group for truce talks.

Al Anad, some 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of Yemen's second city Aden, was the headquarters for US troops overseeing a long-running drone war against Al Qaeda until March 2014 when it was overrun by the Houthi rebels.

It was recaptured by government forces in August 2015 as they recovered territory from the rebels across the south with support from the Saudi-led coalition.

READ MORE: Saudi-led coalition intercepts Houthi drone as fight for Marib continues

Source: TRTWorld and agencies