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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Yemeni army advances in Al Bayda, Taez and Nehim

Dozens of Houthi rebels were killed in clashes over the weekend

Yemenis walk past historic buildings in the old quarter of Sanaa, Yemen, on February 28, 2018. Yahya Arhab / EPA
Yemenis walk past historic buildings in the old quarter of Sanaa, Yemen, on February 28, 2018. Yahya Arhab / EPA

The Yemeni army – with air support by an Arab coalition – has seized back from the Houthi rebels several areas on Saturday, said officials.

Brig Saleh Al Mansoori, commander at the front of the Natea province, said troops loyal to the internationally recognised government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi “liberated the strategic Al Bayda mountain range in the Natea district” south-east of the capital Sanaa.

“Our forces were able to entirely secure Natea and advanced to liberate Al Fadha in Al Malagem district, south of Al Bayda, amid ongoing clashes in which at least 30 Houthi militants were killed and dozens were injured,” he said, according to the Media Centre of the Armed Forces.

He said that 12 members of the Iran-backed Houthi militia were arrested.

Meanwhile, in Taez province, Yemeni troops advanced along the Maqbana front in the south of the country, where they seized back from the rebels Al Hamam mountain range and Al Rahnaka area.

“The army advanced towards Al Ayar mountain in the strategic area of Maqbana, which links Taez and Al Hodeidah and Al Moca in the western coast of Yemen,” Col Abdelbaset Al Baher, a Yemeni army spokesman, told The National in a phone call.

He said that at least 15 Houthi fighters were killed and five were injured in fierce clashes.

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On the Nehim front lines north-east of Sanaa – which is still under Houthi control – fierce clashes between the Yemeni army and the rebels are continuing.

The military-run 26September news website quoted a source as saying that two high-ranking Houthi officers – identified as Ali Hameed Ali Al Geez and Yehya Abdullah Al Rezami – were killed in Nehim and Arhab in clashes that have been raging for three days.

Yemeni army spokesman Nasser Al Redhami said the Saudi-led coalition – which includes the UAE – has launched strikes over the weekend targeting weapons caches that belong to the Houthis near the coastal city of Al Hodeidah.

The Arab coalition intervened in 2015.