Senior commander among more than 20 Houthi rebels killed in Yemen
More than 20 Houthi rebels, including a senior commander, were killed in clashes with the Yemeni army in Al Bayda province, bordering Sanaa governorate.
The commander of the Houthi militia in Al Bayda, known as Abu Hashim, was one of the men killed on Friday, said Mahmood Al Humaidi, who lives in Al Bayda.
Mr Al Humaidi said that the Yemeni army took control of Naman and Al Malahem districts, and that the forces loyal to Yemen’s president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi moved farther into the province to Natea.
“There were fierce clashes in the last pocket containing the rebels in Natea district and the army was able to advance and gain ground,” he said.
“At least 20 rebels were killed and dozens were injured.”
The government reported that 50 Houthi militiamen were captured in Natea before the army advanced to Walad Rabie district, where nine rebels were killed. Fierce clashes also took place in Thamar province, about 130 kilometres south of Sanaa.
The Houthi rebels fought with tribes in the Al Hada area.
Yemeni army fighters and the tribes, who back the internationally recognised government of Mr Hadi, have mobilised to lead an “intifada” against the rebels in the province, which is considered to be the Houthis’ stronghold.
In Taez province, at least four Houthis were killed as the Yemeni army advanced into Makbana district, a local source said.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni government has called on the United Nations to replace its humanitarian staff in the country, accusing it of bias towards the rebels.
The ministry of foreign affairs said statements by the UN envoy to Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, ignored the crimes being committed by the Houthis against civilians.
Osama Al Sharmi, an official at the Yemeni ministry of information, said that the gov-
ernment was very upset by the envoy’s words.
“It is not the first time that the UN official has made such biased statements, which are misleading the international opinion and provide a big support for the coup militia,” Mr Al Sharmi said.
He said the UN humanitarian office should have communicated with the humanitarian unit of the coalition forces to verify its information, rather than obtaining it from the news websites affiliated with the coup militia.
A Yemeni loyalist during an offensive east of Sanaa