World, Middle East

Pro-govt forces, Houthis trade fire in Yemen’s Al-Bayda

Houthis and their allies have remained in control of central Al-Bayda province since late 2014

19.09.2016
Pro-govt forces, Houthis trade fire in Yemen’s Al-Bayda

Yemen

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA

Pro-government forces and the Shia Houthi militia on Monday exchanged artillery fire in Yemen’s central Al-Bayda province, according to a pro-government source.

Abdul Bari al-Humaikani, a spokesman for the pro-government "popular resistance", alleged that Houthi militants had shelled residential parts of Al-Bayda’s Az-Zahir Directorate held by pro-government forces.

"Popular resistance fighters responded to Houthi shelling with artillery and heavy weapons," al-Humaikani told Anadolu Agency by phone, without mentioning whether the shelling had resulted in casualties.

Anadolu Agency, however, was unable to confirm the assertions from either pro-Houthi or independent sources.

For the last two years, the Houthis and their allies have remained in control of most of Al-Bayda, which continues to be the site of deadly on-again, off-again clashes between the Shia militia group and forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

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

In March of last year, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains in Yemen and restoring Hadi’s embattled government.

Two rounds of earlier peace talks have failed to end the conflict, in which thousands of Yemenis have been killed and at least 2.5 million forced to flee their homes.

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