Middle East

Yemen army claims gains against Houthis east of Sanaa

At least 19 people were killed in fighting between Houthi militants and pro-Hadi forces in Taiz

08.08.2016
Yemen army claims gains against Houthis east of Sanaa UN-brokered peace talks between the Yemeni government and Houthis have failed to resolve the conflict, which has so far killed more than 6,400 people and forced 2.5 million others to flee their homes.

By Murad al-Arifi and Tawfik Ali

MARIB, Yemen

Army forces aligned with Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi have claimed to make gains against Houthi militants east of capital Sanaa.

In a statement Sunday, the pro-Hadi forces said that they have captured several areas in Nahm district, east of Sanaa, after fierce fighting with Houthi militants.

The statement said that several Houthis and their allies were killed and injured in the violence, but did not give the exact number of casualties.

There was no comment from the Houthi group on the claim.

On Saturday, pro-Hadi forces launched a military offensive to recapture Sanaa from the Houthis, who overran the capital and several areas in 2014 and forced Hadi and his government to flee to Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, at least 19 people were killed in fighting between Houthi militants and pro-Hadi forces in the central Taiz province.

A pro-Hadi source said the violence broke out when Houthis and their allies attempted to advance south of Taiz.

“Sixteen Houthis and allied forces were killed in the confrontations,” the source, who asked to be unnamed due to security concerns, told Anadolu Agency.

The source said that three pro-Hadi fighters were also killed in the violence.

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

Backed by Saudi-led airstrikes, pro-Hadi forces have since managed to reclaim large swathes of the country’s south -- including provisional capital Aden -- but have failed to retake Sanaa and other strategic areas.

UN-brokered peace talks between the Yemeni government and Houthis have failed to resolve the conflict, which has so far killed more than 6,400 people and forced 2.5 million others to flee their homes.

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