Saudi soldier killed in shelling near Yemeni border

A Saudi soldier was killed and another wounded by shelling from forces loyal to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthi rebels near the Yemen border.

The shelling Saturday morning was directed at security guards in the southwestern Saudi border area of Jizan, according to a statement by the Interior Ministry on SPA.

An Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia has been bombing the Houthis for three months to restore Yemen’s exiled government and fend off what they see as Iranian influence.

Saudi forces and the Houthis have been trading fire across the border since the Arab alliance began its operations.

Houthi fighters Saturday fired missiles at storage tanks in an Aden refinery, starting a large fire, and 14 people were killed in clashes between the Houthis and the Saudi-led forces near the southern port city, witnesses and residents said.

The attack on the refinery in the Buraiqah area sent black smoke billowing into the sky.

After months of conflict, Yemen is suffering from severe fuel shortages and its oil and gas industry has all but ground to a halt. Industry sources said in April the 150,000-barrels-per-day refinery had shut its operations and declared force majeure on its imports and exports due to the war.

In northern Aden, medical sources reported eight civilians were killed, including a woman and her three children, in random shelling by Houthi fighters on residential areas in the Mansoura and Sheikh Othman districts.

Backed up by Arab bombings and weapons drops, local fighters in Yemen’s south and its main city Aden have resisted the heavily armed militia’s advance.

Four people from the Yemen’s southern resistance movement and 10 Houthis were killed in clashes early Saturday near Aden, sources from the resistance movement and residents said.

The fighting took place in Jawala and Bir Ahmed, north of Aden. So far in the conflict these two areas have been under the control of supporters of Yemeni President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia, and allied fighters.

Last week, the U.N. said $1.6 billion was now needed to face a “looming catastrophe” in Yemen. Over 21 million people, 80 percent of the population, are now estimated to be in need of some form of humanitarian aid and/or protection.