World, Middle East

Pro-govt forces take Yemen’s port city of Mocha: Source

Houthi militia group has yet to comment on pro-government source’s assertions

Pro-govt forces take Yemen’s port city of Mocha: Source File photo

TAIZ, Yemen

Pro-government forces on Tuesday captured several parts of the strategic city of Mocha on Yemen’s western Red Sea coast following pitched battles with Shia Houthi militiamen, according to a pro-government source.

"Pro-government forces attacked the Houthis and their allies [in Mocha] from different directions towards the city center," pro-government field commander Bilal al-Saqqaf told Anadolu Agency.

"Our forces managed to capture the city’s port, the Old City, a public road, and several residential districts," he said, adding: "The city is now under our control."

"At least 30 Houthi fighters surrendered, while dozens of others were killed or injured in the fighting," al-Saqqaf asserted.

The Houthi leadership, for its part, has yet to comment on the commander’s assertions.

Yemen has been wracked by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Shia Houthi militia group -- along with forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh -- overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched an extensive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s Saudi-backed government.

Reporting by Murad al-Arifi; Writing by Ali H. M.Abo Rezeg

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