The Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen said Sunday that it had launched a new air campaign on Yemen’s capital and other provinces, in retaliation for a series of missile and drone strikes targeting key military and oil facilities across Saudi Arabia.”The targeting of civilians and civilian facilities is a red line,” Col. Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the coalition, was quoted as saying by the official Saudi Press Agency.  It was the first time in months that Sanaa was bombed by Saudi warplanes, an escalation that comes as the kingdom grapples with a major increase in cross-border strikes on its own infrastructure, including an attack on a major offshore oil loading facility late Sunday.  The wave of Saudi bombings on Houthi rebel sites also represents the first since President Joe Biden’s long-awaited announcement last month that he was ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, including some arms sales to the country.  Smoke rises after Saudi-led airstrikes on an army base in Sanaa, Yemen, Mar. 7, 2021.Artillery also hit a residential area in Taiz Sunday, wounding seven children as they left their school, charity Save the Children said, just days after three children were killed and 10 others wounded when shells hit their homes in the same area.”This is devastating news. We are witnessing another unacceptable increase in civilian casualties in the city of Taiz,” said Xavier Joubert, the group’s Yemen director.The conflict in Yemen erupted nearly six years ago, after the Houthis swept into the capital and seized much of the country’s north. A Saudi-led military coalition launched a bombing campaign to dislodge the Houthis and restore the internationally recognized government.The stalemated war was has killed around 130,000 people, including more than 12,000 civilians, pushed millions to the brink of famine and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Saudi Arabia has faced widespread international criticism for its airstrikes that have killed civilians and hit non-military targets in Yemen.

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