Coalition air strikes kill more than 20 Houthis in Yemen

ADEN, 17th October, 2015 (WAM) — Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition killed more than 20 Houthi rebels on Friday as pro-government forces battled for key provinces in the campaign to retake Yemen’s capital, as reported by Associated Press and Agence France-Presse and the correspondent of the UAE Daily, The National.

Nine rebel fighters were killed in air strikes on the Red Sea port of Mokha in Taez province as part of a fresh attempt to cut rebel supply lines to the heavily contested provincial capital.

Taez city is held by forces loyal to the internationally recognised government of Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, but is besieged by the rebels. Securing Taez would allow pro-government forces to push north towards the rebel-held capital, Sanaa.

Ground fighting in Taez on Friday killed at least three civilians and 34 fighters from the two sides, security officials said. Earlier in the day, Saudi airstrikes killed 12 Houthis in the vast desert province of Jawf, paving the way for pro-government ground troops. The move was part of a plan to seize the northern province and advance on neighboring Sadaa province – the Houthi heartland.

The rebels and their allies, renegade units of Yemen’s military loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, also suffered casualties in a suspected Al Qaeda attack on Friday.

Ten soldiers allied to rebels were killed when suspected members of the extremist group attacked an intelligence building in the rebel-held city of Hodeidah.

A suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the building’s compound, before gunmen started shooting at the soldiers who were guarding the building, said a security source in the western port city.