The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the media. The Houthi attack on the military training camp followed an ongoing barrage of assaults by Saudi-backed government forces on rebel targets east of Sanaa. Those attacks killed at least 22 people on both sides, according to officials. The combat signaled a major escalation in the capital’s eastern suburbs after months of relative quiet.
Also on Saturday, Houthi fighters and government forces traded heavy volleys of artillery fire just south of the Hodeida port, killing at least seven people, including two civilians, according to Wadah Dobish, a spokesman for government forces on Yemen's western coast. The statement said residential areas were caught in the crosshairs due to indiscriminate mortar fire.
The fighting breaches a U.N.-brokered cease-fire in the strategic port city of Hodeida, which is the main entry point for humanitarian aid and food into Yemen. Iran-backed Houthi rebels have remained in control of the capital, Sanaa, along with much of the country's north, since ousting the government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in 2014.
The conflict became a regional proxy war months later, when a Saudi-led military coalition intervened to drive out the Houthis and restore the internationally recognized government. The grinding war in the Arab world's poorest country has killed more than 10,000 people, displaced more than 3 million and pushed the country to the brink of major famine.