Iran-Backed Houthi Fighters Capture 20 Military Outposts Inside Saudi Arabia After Launching Surprise OffensiveHouthis during a protest in Yemen (Pic by Henry Ridgwell via Wikipedia)

Iran-backed Houthi fighters from Yemen have issued a statement claiming that they have captured more than 20 military outposts located inside Saudi Arabia, reports Business Standard.

The gains were apparently made in a surprise offensive into the Gulf kingdom’s Najran province which borders Yemen. The Houthis also claim to have killed or injured some 200-odd Saudi troops.

"We have extensive video footage of the operation which we will broadcast later," said the group’s spokesperson.

The Houthis have been locked in a civil war with the internationally-recognised Yemeni government since 2015, with the former having captured the capital city Sana’a in 2014. The Saudi government sees the Houthis, who belong to the Zaidi sub-sect of Shia Islam, as a threat due to their close relations with its arch-rival Iran.

A Saudi-led coalition has been attempting to dislodge the Houthis from power in Yemen for the last couple of years, but has seen little success. The breakdown of order in the civil war has also allowed jihadist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State to expand their footprint across the country.

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