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Saudi-led Coalition Targets Rebel Military Factory in Sana’a | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A boy walks on a street littered with cooking gas cylinders after a fire and explosions . Reuters

Aden-Arab Coalition jets raided on Tuesday several positions in Sana’a, including parts of the country’s Alsonidar Group, located near the areal base north of the capital, which is a facility that rebel groups use to produce military equipment.

Informed sources in Sana’a told Asharq Al-Awsat that since Houthi militias controlled Sana’a in September 2014, they worked on transforming the Alsonidar factory, which makes and sells pumps, into a military manufacturing unit specialized in producing pipes insurgents use to assemble homemade missiles through the support of foreign experts.

Tension in Yemen escalated when President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was sent into exile, after former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his Houthi supporters seized the capital.

Negotiations to end 19 months of fighting in Yemen collapsed last month and Houthi militias there resumed shelling attacks into Saudi Arabia.

Abdullah Ali Alsonidar, a prominent businessman in Yemen, owns the factory. Alsonidar owns several plants making pipes and building materials. He is also known for his close relationship with ousted Saleh and former members of his regime.

According to information leaked from Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat learned that Alsonidar is one of the top financial supporters of rebels. The sources said the businessman had attended many rebel festivals and ceremonies.

Alsonidar had also offered generous donations to insurgents and is currently making deals worth millions of dollars in return for using his companies and factories as a cover for military production.

Arab Coalition forces have made an important advance in Taiz since they launched their offensive to liberate the province in mid-August. Taiz, the third biggest Yemeni city, was controlled by Houthi militias and forces linked to Saleh.

The coalition advancement pushed rebel militias to escalate their assaults against Taiz and to commit daily massacres targeting civilians.

On Tuesday, rebels fiercely raided villages and towns in the province, killing and injuring several civilians.