Two senior officers from the Saudi-led coalition supporting Yemen’s government have been killed near the city of Taiz, Saudi and Emirati authorities say. Saudi Colonel Abdullah al-Sahyan and Emirati officer Sultan al-Ketbi were killed at dawn on Monday “while they were carrying out their duties in supervising operations to liberate Taiz” province in Yemen’s southwest, the official Saudi Press Agency news agency said.
The Emirati state news agency WAM separately confirmed Ketbi’s death.
The deaths come ahead of a ceasefire agreed to coincide with UN-backed peace talks to resolve Yemen’s war.
Media controlled by the Houthi rebels said the two had been killed in a rocket attack on the Red Sea coast. Taiz province, where the warring sides have been locked in conflict for months, overlooks the Bab al-Mandab Strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Sahyan on Saturday met Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi who awarded him with a medal of courage, according to Yemen’s official sabanews.net website. He was identified as commander of the Saudi forces in the provisional capital Aden, where Hadi’s government is based.