Middle East

Pro-govt forces claim to make gains in Yemen’s Taiz

Forces loyal to Yemen’s president say they have captured several key military sites after fierce battles with Houthi militants

Pro-govt forces claim to make gains in Yemen’s Taiz

By Murad al-Arifi

TAIZ, Yemen

Forces loyal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi on Monday claimed to have captured several key positions west of Yemen’s central city of Taiz following fierce battles with Shia Houthi militants and their allies.

"Pro-Hadi forces have retaken Mount Monim in Taiz and captured the Al-Khalwa and Al-Sawdaa hills," Abdu Hamoud, a commander of pro-Hadi forces in Taiz, told Anadolu Agency.

"Government forces also managed to retake the Moknah area in the Al-Rabeie district," he added.

In a related development the same day, a senior pro-Hadi commander was killed by a Houthi sniper, according to Abdul Rahman Saleh, a spokesman for pro-Hadi forces operating in Yemen’s eastern region.

Anadolu Agency was unable, however, to independently verify both reports.

Also on Monday, at least 50 people were killed in the southern city of Aden -- and dozens more injured -- in a suspected suicide car bomb attack carried out by unknown perpetrators.

Yemen has been dogged by war since late 2014, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.

The conflict escalated last year when Saudi Arabia launched a massive military campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains in Yemen and restoring Hadi’s embattled government.

Earlier this month, UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait between the Yemeni government and the Houthis broke down without having achieved any tangible breakthroughs.

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