AFP – Yemeni pro-government forces battled Shiite Houthi rebels on two fronts Saturday, including east of Taiz where they are struggling to break a siege of the southwestern city, military sources said.
“Five rebels and one of our soldiers were killed in the fighting” near Taiz, a local pro-government commander, Fadl Hassan, told AFP.
He said loyalist forces drove rebels and their allies from five hills in the Sharija region on the borders of Taiz and Lahj provinces.
“We are trying to break the siege (imposed by rebels) of Taiz,” Hassan said, adding that pro-government forces launched the operation from the eastern side of the city.
Forces loyal to the embattled government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi have struggled since the end of August to break the siege of Taiz which the rebels have surrounded for more than a year.
Pro-government forces also clashed with rebels east of the Yemeni capital, with fighting concentrated in the strategic Sarwah region leading to Sanaa, military sources said.
The Houthis, who seized Sanaa two years ago, are also coming under attack from coalition air strikes, the sources added.
Witnesses also reported airstrikes targeting rebel positions in Nahm northeast of Sanaa, and in the coastal city of Hodeida to the west.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to help shore up Hadi’s government.


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