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Saudi-led coalition bombs air base in rebel-held Yemen capital

Houthi-controlled Al-Masirah TV says more than 30 air strikes targeted the al-Dailami air base in Sanaa and the surrounding area
The coalition said it would provide evidence later on Friday that the air base was being used by the Houthis to launch attacks (AFP)

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has attacked an air base in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, a day after the Saudi-backed government offered to restart peace talks with the Houthis.

"This operation includes targeting of ballistic-missile launch and storage locations... bomb-making and assembly workshops and their support locations in al-Dailami air base in Sanaa," coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said in a statement on Friday.

He added that the adjoining Sanaa international airport was still open to air traffic from the United Nations and other relief agencies.

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Calling the attacked structures "legitimate military targets," Malki said he would provide evidence later on Friday that the air base was being used by the Houthis to launch attacks.

Al-Masirah TV, which is controlled by the Houthis, said more than 30 air strikes targeted the air base in and the surrounding area.

The development comes a day after the Yemeni government said it welcomed "all efforts to restore peace" following calls by key US officials and Martin Griffiths, the UN's envoy to Yemen, for warring parties to come to the table "within a month".

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for an end to the fighting on Tuesday, including air strikes by the coalition.

Washington, a close Saudi ally, backs coalition forces, with help including selling them weapons and refuelling their jets.

Also on Tuesday, Yemeni government officials said the coalition had deployed 10,000 troops to the Red Sea coast, ahead of a new offensive on Hodeidah "within days".

Saudi Arabia's regional role has come under international scrutiny after the killing in its Istanbul consulate last month of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a former royal court insider-turned-critic and a columnist for the Washington Post.

Saudi Arabia and its allies entered the war in 2015 to bolster Yemen's internationally recognised President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi after the Houthis took over Sanaa.

At least 56,000 civilians have been killed since January 2016, according to an independent research group, more than five times higher than the figure from the World Health Organisation that has not been updated for two years.