By Mubarak Mohamed
The Yemeni army on Friday announced the death of five Houthi field commanders in “fierce clashes” that occurred one day earlier in Yemen’s northern Al-Jawf province.
“Five Houthi commanders were killed Thursday evening when the army responded to attempts by Houthi elements to advance into the Wadi Salbah and Qashaan areas of Al-Jawf’s Bart al-Anan district,” an army-linked website (SeptemberNet) reported.
The website identified the five slain commanders -- by their noms de guerre -- as Abu Ruhollah, Abu Jihad al-Hamzi, Abu Murtada, Abu Badr Zare and Abu Alawi al-Raawi.
On Thursday evening, the Yemeni army said it had killed at least 35 “Houthi-linked militants” in clashes that occurred in Al-Jawf, which shares a border with Saudi Arabia.
Houthi spokesmen have yet to independently verify the army’s assertions.
Last month, Al-Jawf Governor Amin Ali al-Okim declared that the army controlled roughly 95 percent of the northern province.
Yemen has remained dogged by conflict since 2014, when the Shia Houthi militia overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.
In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies -- who accuse the Houthis of serving as a proxy force for Shia Iran -- launched a wide-ranging military campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains and shoring up Yemen’s Saudi-backed government.