Reuters –  Dozens of Yemeni Houthi fighters were killed during an assault on the border with Saudi Arabia, residents and Saudi state television said on Tuesday, in what they described as a major push to try to capture territory inside the kingdom.
The Houthis have been trying to push into Saudi territory since a coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia threw its support for the UN-recognized Yemeni government led by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
“There was an attempt, as usual, to breach the border and sneak into Saudi territory but the … armed forces as a whole, were watching them and this attempt was thwarted,” Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition, said in comments broadcast by Saudi state television on Tuesday.
“Those who tried to infiltrate were killed and the situation is stable, thanks be to God,” he added.
The channel said Assiri put the number of those killed at 180 Houthis and allied fighters loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
That number could not be independently verified, but local residents said dozens of Houthi fighters had been killed in what they said was a major assault by hundreds of Houthi fighters on the border. Saudi forces used helicopters as well as rockets to repel the Houthis, they said.
The Houthi-run Saba news agency claimed that fighters had seized three Saudi military outposts near the city of Najran, destroying several armored vehicles, including two US-made Abrams tanks and three Bradley vehicles.
Saudi authorities on Monday said three Border Guard soldiers were martyred in the heavy fighting but the infiltrators were repelled.
The United Nations says that at least 5,700 people, nearly half of them civilians, have been killed since the war in Yemen escalated in March 2015, with Iran-backed Houthis and Saleh loyalists on one side and forces loyal to President Hadi’s government.
Hadi supporters, backed by ground forces from the Saudi-led coalition, have since then driven the Houthis out of the southern port city of Aden and other areas in the former South Yemen, as well as Marib east of the capital Sanaa.
But the rebel forces remain firmly in control of the capital and much of the northern part of Yemen.


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