Four Saudi soldiers were killed in a battle with Houthi forces in the mountainous southwestern province of Jazan, which borders Yemen, according to people who spoke on condition of anonymity, Bloomberg writes.
The Houthis supported Hamas. On October 11, Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi condemned countries such as Saudi Arabia for trying to mend ties with Israel and threatened to retaliate against the United States with “all available military options.”
See also: Saudi Arabia spends billions on sports and technology. Riyadh is preparing for a world without oil
The Saudi Arabian deaths last week were the first casualties of the country’s armed forces since a tentative ceasefire was reached with the Houthis in April last year. Riyadh has tried to negotiate an end to the war with the Houthis that began in 2015.
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Before the escalation, the two sides were close to reaching an agreement despite the death of four Bahraini soldiers serving in the Saudi coalition in a Houthi drone strike last month. The latest incident comes as the Israel-Hamas conflict has heightened tensions across the region. Iran has warned that if the US continues to support Israel, it will open new fronts.
Missile attack across Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has strongly criticized Israel’s airstrikes on the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory of Gaza. It began on October 7, when an Iranian-backed militia attacked southern Israel, killing 1,400 people. Palestinian officials say the blast killed thousands of people, including many children. Riyadh called for a ceasefire.
See also: Israel has a clear target in the Gaza Strip. Ambiguous words
Clashes erupted on the Yemeni-Saudi border on October 19 after the Houthis opened fire on Israel. A series of cruise missiles and dronesThe Pentagon says it was intercepted by a US destroyer in the Red Sea.
According to witness reports, one of these missiles was intercepted by Saudi air defenses and landed on the Kingdom’s border. The United States and Saudi Arabia have not previously disclosed Saudi intervention in halting the offensive. A high-alert protocol was activated across all branches of the Saudi military following the Houthi missile launch, one of the sources said.
Missile attacks have consequences for air traffic. Major Israeli airline El Al has limited flights to the Arabian Peninsula and flies a round-trip route from Tel Aviv to Bangkok.
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