SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s state TV says the coalition carrying out airstrikes against Yemen’s Shiite rebels has given the residents of a northern rebel stronghold along the kingdom’s border an ultimatum to leave the region by nightfall.

The Ekhbariya TV says the Saudi-led coalition has declared the rebel stronghold of Saada a “war zone” and its entire territory a “military target,” urged all civilians to leave by 7 p.m. local time on Friday.

Coalition planes have dropped leaflets to Saada’s residents, asking them to leave.

The escalation comes in response to recent cross border attacks by the rebels targeting Saudi Arabian cities near the Saudi-Yemen frontier.

        filed under: