Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 15 July 2020

Top Houthi field leader killed with his fighters during fierce clashes in southern Yemen

Fighters with Southern Forces repelled Iran-backed rebels on Sunday

Fighters with the Southern Transitional Council in the southern province of Abyan, Yemen. EPA
Fighters with the Southern Transitional Council in the southern province of Abyan, Yemen. EPA

A high ranking field commander was among six Houthis killed when southern forces repelled a large-scale attack by the Iran-backed rebels in Yemen on Sunday, a military spokesman said.

The attack happened in eastern Al Hasha district in Dhalea province.

Capt Fuad Jubari, the spokesman for the Dhalea military axis of the Southern Transitional Council, said the Houthis attacked two sites controlled by the force firing heavy artillery on the positions.

The forces launched a counter-attack and repelled the Houthis, chasing them on the plains of Habeel Yahya and besieging others in Al Hasha's mountains, Capt Jubari said.

“Six members of the besieged group were killed,” he said.

The Houthis recently increased its military operations in northern Dhalea and the province of Al Bayda.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council agreed to a ceasefire to end a months-long standoff in the southern provinces of Aden, Abyan and Shabwa.

They agreed to a truce in Abyan province, easing tension in other regions and to start talks on putting the Riyadh Agreement into effect, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed Al Jaber, wrote on Twitter last week.

The agreement was followed by the arrival of observers from the Saudi-led coalition to oversee the ceasefire.

The split between the long-standing allies in the battle against the rebels complicated the fight against the Iran-backed group.

The agreement made in Riyadh late last year hashed out a power-sharing agreement and the makeup of a new Cabinet between Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi's internationally recognised government and the STC.

The Saudi-led coalition is assisting government forces in the near five-year civil war sparked by the Houthis seizing Sanaa.

Updated: June 29, 2020 05:40 PM

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