A Saudi Arabia-led coalition on Saturday launched a barrage of airstrikes against the Houthi rebels in Yemen in retaliation to rocket strikes on an oil depot near the Formula One circuit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi airstrikes bombarded the capital of Yemen, Sanaa, and the strategic Red Sea city Hodeida, both of which are control of the Houthi rebels. At least eight people have been killed in the airstrikes.

Commenting on the airstrikes, commander of the Saudi-led coalition Brigadier General Turki al-Malki said that sites that were identified as “sources of threat” to Saudi Arabia were targeted.

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Al-Malki went on to add that coalition forces had destroyed two bomb-carrying drones early on Saturday, adding that the drones had been launched from the Houthi-controlled city of Hodeida.

Footage circulated online showed flames and plumes of smoke over Sanaa and Hodeida. Associated Press journalists in the Yemeni capital heard loud explosions that rattled residential buildings there.

The Houthis, for their part, said that the Saudi airstrikes had hit a power plant, a fuel supply station, and the state-run social insurance office in the capital city of Sanaa.

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The Saudi-led coalition had also targeted Houthi-held areas in the city of Hodeida on Wednesday, but no casualties were reported.

However,  a U.N. mission overseeing Hodeida urged the two sides in the conflict to “maintain the civilian nature of the ports and avoid damage to civilian infrastructure.”

“Once again we are seeing civilians bearing the brunt of this conflict which is just getting worse every year. This escalation is going to do nothing to elevate the hardships that millions are going through,” said Erin Hutchinson, the Yemen director of the non-profit, the Norwegian Refugee Council, commenting on Wednesday’s airstrikes.

[With AP inputs]