A total of 30 people were killed and another 24 were injured as the Shiite Houthi group attacked a military base loyal to Yemen’s President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in the southern province of Taiz, military sources said on Saturday.
“Houthi gunmen supported by battalion of the elite republican guard forces besieged the headquarters of 35th Armored Army Brigade that announced loyalty to Hadi. The pro-Houthi forces completely controlled the areas around the brigade,” an army officer told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
He said that “more than 16 of Hadi’s Army Brigade and about 14 of Houthi forces were killed during the street battles. Some hospitals are not working due to sharp fuel and medicine supplies shortages. Dozens of injured people left without treatment.”
Fighting started Friday night and escalated between the two warring rivals across Taiz and scores of tribal militia from different villages joined battles alongside with Hadi’s forces amid very loud explosions rocking the city, he added.
On Friday, the Saudi-led coalition forces carried out intensified air strikes against some Houthi-controlled military sites as well as the 22nd base of the republican guard forces, according to local Yemeni officials.
A government official based in Taiz told Xinhua that “the Saudi-led air strikes completely destroyed Taiz’s infrastructure and a number of military bases were set on fire, causing heavy material loses and injuring dozens of people.”
Thousands of families started to evacuate from Taiz province to rural areas as the fighting and Saudi-led air raids intensified causing widespread of shortages in basic needs including, foods, drinking water and electricity, the government source said.
In the southern port city of Aden, fighting continued on Saturday in the Mu’alla and Cirater districts amid heavy shelling by warships of the Saudi-led coalition forces against buildings held by pro-Houthi forces.
For the third day in a row, intense battles raged in Aden’s Buraiga district between Hadi’s tribal militia and Houthi gunmen over the control of Aden’s sole refinery company located there, security sources said.
Some local residents in Buraiga district said dark columns of smoke were seen in a number of Houthi positions hit by missiles of Saudi-led warplanes early Saturday.
The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on the leader of the Houthi group in Yemen and a son of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh for allegedly supporting the Shiite Houthi gunmen.
The security situation in Yemen has sharply deteriorated since early March when conflicts erupted in several provinces in the country’s southern regions.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia started late last month airstrikes on Houthi targets in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa and other cities, saying the multinational action is to protect President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s legitimacy and force the Houthis to retreat from cities they have seized since September 2014.