35 Yemeni Houthi fighters killed in battles with gov’t forces within 24 hours

Yemeni Forces Kill Pro-Hadi Top Commander, Regain more Regions in Ma'rib, Al-Jawf Provinces

Up to 35 fighters of the Shiite Houthi group were killed and 19 others wounded during intense gun battles with pro-government Yemeni forces across the southwestern province of Taiz within one day, a military commander told Xinhua.

Military units loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni government launched military operations against Houthis in many areas of Taiz province, killing 35 militants, injuring 19 and arresting eight others over the past 24 hours, the military commander said on condition of anonymity.

The pro-government forces also destroyed a factory of landmines and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) building belonging to the Houthi rebels in Taiz outskirts, the source said.

The military commander did not mention if there were any casualties on the side of pro-government forces in Taiz fighting.

However, a local medical source confirmed to Xinhua by phone saying that “about 20 fighters loyal to the government were injured and transferred to hospitals for treatment.”

Elsewhere in Yemen, the pro-Houthi forces launched an all-out attack against areas controlled by the government in the neighboring province of Lahj.

Tribal sources said that local fighters supported by the Saudi-led Arab coalition managed to thwart the Houthi attack after several hours of fighting.

Yemen’s internationally-backed government, allied with the Saudi-led Arab military coalition, has for more than two years been battling Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels over control of the country.

The coalition began a military air campaign in March 2015 to roll back Houthi gains and reinstate exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government to the power.

The coalition also imposed air and sea blockade to prevent weapons from reaching Houthis, who had invaded the capital Sanaa militarily and seized most of the northern Yemeni provinces.

UN statistics show more than 10,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the coalition intervened in the Yemeni civil war that also displaced around three million.

The impoverished Arab country is also suffering the world’s largest cholera epidemic since April, with about 5,000 cases reported every day.