World Bulletin / News Desk
“Government forces -- two brigades and a battalion -- backed by [pro-government] popular resistance fighters on Friday launched a massive attack on Houthi positions in Bayhan,” a Yemeni army colonel said.
“The army has since assumed control of several strategic sites, including the Al-Elm checkpoint and the Mafraq al-Sadi area,” he said.
According to the same source, the army is now on the verge of breaking a Houthi siege on Bayhan and restoring a strategic road linking the area to the Houthi-held Maarib province.
Dozens of Houthi group were killed or injured in the melee, he said, while several government personnel -- he did not provide an exact number -- had been injured.
According to the army officer, clashes remain ongoing, with the army trying to maintain control over the Al-Nuqoub area, regarded as the Houthi’s main stronghold in Bayhan.
In a related development, a Yemeni army officer said Thursday that warplanes affiliated with a Saudi-led Arab coalition had recently struck several Houthi positions in the Hais directorate of Yemen’s western Al-Hudeidah province.
The officer, who spoke to Anadolu Agency anonymously due to the issue’s sensitivity, said coalition warplanes had also targeted a vehicle in the Rasyan area of the southwestern Taiz province, killing all five civilian passengers.
The airstrikes come amid ongoing clashes between the Houthis and coalition-backed Yemeni government forces in and around Al-Hudeidah’s Al-Khokha directorate on the Red Sea coast.
Anadolu Agency was unable to obtain immediate comment from Houthi spokesmen regarding the sources’ assertions.
Yemen has remained gripped by violence and chaos since 2014 when Houthi groups overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and shoring up the country’s Saudi-backed government.