1 Qatari soldier killed in Yemen as battle rages
13 rebels killed by loyalists in south Yemen ambush
DUBAI: A Qatari soldier fighting alongside a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen has been killed in clashes there, state media said yesterday, the first reported death of a soldier from the small Gulf Arab state in the conflict. Qatar has not formally announced its troops are among the Saudi-led forces trying to restore Yemen’s government, which was sent into exile by Houthi fighters that Gulf states see as a proxy for their archrival Iran. A senior commander from the United Arab Emirates forces in Yemen denied in September that Qatar had sent any ground forces. The United Nations says more than 5,600 Yemenis have been killed since the Gulf Arab intervention began in March 26. Dozens of soldiers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and other coalition members have also died. “The Qatari armed forces today announced the martyrdom of Mohammed Hamid Suleiman, a soldier from the Qatari armed forces in the line of duty with Arab coalition forces ... in the Republic of Yemen,” Qatar’s state QNA agency said.
13 rebels killed
Meanwhile, pro-government forces yesterday killed 13 rebel fighters in an ambush in Yemen’s south after the insurgents took back several positions in the area, a military source said. The Houthi rebels were travelling in two military vehicles south of Damt, the Daleh province’s second-largest city, which they and their allies recaptured on Saturday. Forces loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi attacked them with rocket-propelled grenades and machineguns, the source said.The loyalists, backed by Saudi-led coalition strikes, supplies and troops, pushed the rebels out of Daleh and four other southern provinces in July.
But the rebels this weekend recaptured several positions in the south. Battles continued in the area Wednesday as the rebels were trying to advance on Daleh’s provincial capital, which carries the same name, the military source said. Other fighting flared in Al-Madaribah on the border between the neighbouring Lahj and Taez provinces, leaving five rebels and three loyalist fighters dead over the past 24 hours, military sources said. The coalition, formed in March to halt the rebels’ advance across Yemen, has dispatched military reinforcements to Al-Madaribah to prevent it falling to rebel hands, the sources said. —Reuters