Yemen forces capture key areas from Houthis

Yemen’s president has called on the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) to take advantage of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to facilitate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement. (Al-Ekhbariya)

Sanaa, July 6 (IANS) Forces loyal to Yemen’s government captured key areas from the Houthi militia in the country’s central province of al-Bayda, a military official said.

“The government forces continued their field military progress during ongoing battles for the fourth consecutive day against the Houthi militia in al-Bayda province,” the official told Xinhua news agency on MOnday.

He said that the government forces backed by dozens of tribesmen managed to capture Al-Zahir district, west of al-Bayda, following days of fierce gun battles with the Houthi rebels.

“The Houthis lost control over key areas in al-Bayda and withdrew as government forces stepped up their military operations there,” he said.

Nearly 12 people were killed on both sides, while 28 others were injured during the ongoing battles between the two warring rivals in the country’s central region, according to the official.

On July 2, the internationally-recognised Yemeni government declared launching a large-scale military operation with direct support from the Saudi Arabia-led coalition against the Houthi-controlled areas in al-Bayda province.

The military operation aimed at liberating all areas of al-Bayda from the Houthi militia, according to Yemeni Minister of Information Muammar Al-Iryani.

Yemen has been locked into a civil war in 2014 since the Houthis overran much of the country and seized all northern provinces, including the capital Sanaa.

Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthis forced him into exile.

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