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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Arab coalition forces cut Houthi supply line

Yemeni fighters, backed by UAE troops, raided rebel strongholds between Al Khoukha and the town of Heys

Yemeni fighters, loyal to the legitimate government of Yemen, hold position during an offensive against Houthi rebels positions in the Nihem region, east of Sanaa, Yemen, on December 24, 2017. Soliman Alnowab / EPA
Yemeni fighters, loyal to the legitimate government of Yemen, hold position during an offensive against Houthi rebels positions in the Nihem region, east of Sanaa, Yemen, on December 24, 2017. Soliman Alnowab / EPA

The Arab coalition in Yemen killed dozens of Houthi rebel fighters and severed one of their main supply routes on Wednesday, state news agency Wam reported.

The offensive, northwest of the city of Taez, is a major advance for the Saudi-led coalition — which includes the UAE — in the nearly three-year civil war.

It would consolidate gains made last month at Al Khoukha on the Red Sea, where the coalition and allied forces loyal to the internationally recognised government of Yemeni president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi made their biggest advance in months.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels overthrew Mr Hadi’s government in 2015 and took control of the capital, Sanaa, and much of northern Yemen, where most of the 25 million people live.

Yemeni fighters, backed by UAE troops, raided Houthi strongholds between Al Khoukha and the town of Heys, about 25 kilometres to the east, to try to secure Red Sea areas captured last month.

"Emirati armed forces members and Yemeni fighters managed to cut supply lines for the Houthi coup militias between Hodeidah and Taez south of Heys city," Wam quoted an Armed Forces source as saying.

The source said dozens of Houthi fighters were killed.

The civil war in Yemen has displaced more than two million people, pushing the country to the brink of famine. At least 10,000 people have been killed.