World, Middle East

Houthi group claims control of al-Bayda province in central Yemen

Government has not commented on claim

23.09.2021
Houthi group claims control of al-Bayda province in central Yemen FILE PHOTO

SANAA, Yemen

The Houthi group announced Thursday that it seized control of al-Bayda province in central Yemen after a military offensive.

"The armed forces, with support of al-Bayda tribes, complemented the task of liberating the remaining areas in Al-Bayda province in the course of the military operation, Dawn of Freedom," group spokesman Yahya Saree told a news conference according to the Houthis-run Saba news agency.

He said 70 Yemeni forces were killed, 40 arrested and 10 military vehicles damaged in 48 hours of fighting.

The Saudi Arabian-led coalition carried out 30 raids in an attempt to stop the advancement of the Houthi rebels, he added.

The Yemeni government has yet to comment on the claims.

Al-Bayda province is in a strategic central position connecting northern Yemen with its southern territories. The Houthis and the government forces sought to take it under their control.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthis overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

The conflict has claimed more than 233,000 lives, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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