By Ali Oweida
The Yemeni army on Wednesday claimed to have captured the eastern entrance of the coastal city of Al-Hudaydah from Houthi rebels.
Since June 13, the army -- with the support of a Saudi-led coalition -- has been conducting operations aimed at “liberating” the city, along with its strategic seaport, from Houthi fighters.
“Backed by Arab coalition forces, the army has successfully liberated the Kilometer 7 area near Al-Hudaydah’s eastern entrance,” the army's media office said in a statement.
According to the same statement, “dozens” of Houthi fighters -- including commanders -- were killed or injured in the fighting.
In a separate statement carried by an army-affiliated website, Yemeni Army Commander Ahmed Qayed al-Subaihi said that more than 15 Houthi commanders had been slain.
Anadolu Agency, however, has yet to independently verify the army’s assertions.
Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa and the coastal Al-Hudaydah province.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and shoring up the country’s pro-Saudi government.