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Yemen's Houthi militia dismiss 'illogical' UN sanctions

Residents of Yemen's southern cities accuse Houthi militiamen of shelling residential areas, leading to the death of civilians
Members of the Ansarullah Movement (Houthis) march and chant slogans during a protest at the Sittin street in Sanaa on 20 February, 2015 (AA)

Yemen's Shiite Houthi militia on Wednesday dismissed sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as "illogical."

"The Houthis believe that nothing good can come of the Security Council," senior Houthi member Mohamed al-Bukhaiti told the Anadolu Agency.

"Council resolutions are never based on ethical or logical considerations," he added.

He said the UNSC should have issued a resolution suspending what he called "aggression" against Yemen.

The UN Security Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution imposing an arms embargo on Yemen's Houthi militia and demanding they pull back from territory they have captured.

The resolution also imposes a global asset freeze and travel ban against Ahmed Saleh, son of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and top Houthi militia leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi.

The Houthis "attempted to unilaterally replace the legitimate government of Yemen with an illegitimate governing authority that the Houthis dominated," reads the resolution.

Russia abstained from the vote, but did not veto the measure that was backed by the other 14 of the 15 council members.

Al-Bukhaiti, for his part, said the Houthis would not abide by the decision.

Houthis use schools 'as bunkers and weapons depots'

Since 26 March Saudi Arabia has been targeting Houthi militia positions across Yemen, causing widespread damage to infrastructure and also hitting civilian homes.

At least 364 civilians have died in the fighting so far, some of which during the airstrikes while others by shelling reportedly carried out by the Houthi militiamen.

The Saudis say that the Houthis are using schools and sports stadiums as bases for operations.

"Houthi militants continue to use schools and sports facilities as bunkers and weapons depots, and they're currently in a defensive position hoping to escape with their equipment for fear that the coalition forces will destroy them," coalition spokesman Ahmed al-Asiri said.

Riyadh says the campaign comes in response to appeals by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to "save the [Yemeni] people from the Houthi militias."

The Houthi militiamen, for their part, consider the onslaught a "blatant violation of Yemeni territory".

Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthi militia overran capital Sanaa.

Hadi and many Yemenis accuse Iran of supporting the Houthis, a charge that Tehran and the militiamen deny.

Air raids hit Aden as Houthis kill seven

Saudi-led airstrikes hit militia targets in Yemen's main southern city of Aden on Wednesday after overnight attacks by anti-government forces killed seven people, military sources and medics said.

Coalition warplanes targeted Houthi positions in Crater, Khor Maksar and other districts of Aden, which has seen heavy clashes between pro- and anti-government fighters.

Residents told AFP the Houthi militiamen "randomly" shelled residential areas in the city, killing at least three civilians.

The Houthi militiamen also shot dead four armed supporters of President Hadi, medics and residents said.

In Daleh province, north of Aden, Hadi loyalists carried out several attacks that killed 16 Houthi militiamen, according to pro-government sources.

It was not possible to independently verify the toll and the Houthis rarely acknowledge their losses.