Clashes in Yemen Kill 21

Clashes in Yemen Kill 21Clashes in Yemen Kill 21

Clashes between Shiite rebels and pro-president forces in southern Yemen overnight left 21 dead, on the fourth week of a Saudi-led air campaign against rebels, medics and local sources said Sunday.

Ten Houthi rebels and four members of the “popular committees” militia fighting on the side of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi were killed in pre-dawn clashes in the southwestern city of Taez, the sources said, AFP reported. The “popular committees” are fighting alongside the military’s 35th armored brigade which remains loyal to the exiled Hadi.

They received air support from warplanes of the Saudi-led coalition, which bombed Houthi positions, according to witnesses.

The rebels sent in reinforcements from the cities of Hodeida and Ibb to Taez.

The city has become the scene of fierce clashes over the past week, after having been largely spared in fighting that has spread across several Yemeni provinces.

The rebels who seized Sanaa unopposed in September, have since expanded their control over several provinces.

Saudi Arabia mounted an air campaign at Hadi’s request as the Houthis closed in on his refuge in the southern city of Aden in March.

Hadi had escaped Houthi house-arrest in Sanaa late February and resurfaced in the port city, which he declared a temporary capital. He has since taken refuge in Riyadh.