Heavy Fighting for Key Yemeni City

Heavy Fighting for Key Yemeni CityHeavy Fighting for Key Yemeni City

Pro-government forces in Yemen, strengthened by tanks newly supplied by a Saudi-led coalition, launched an offensive Saturday to retake the Houthi-held Abyan Province, military sources said.

A two-pronged drive on the southern province’s capital of Zinjibar was launched from the north and south, the sources said, World Bulletin reported.

It came two days after tribal and military sources said Saudi Arabia had sent new military equipment, including tanks, to Yemen.

The tanks were part of a package of reinforcements, including armored vehicles and personnel carriers as well as hundreds of soldiers trained in the kingdom, a military source said.

The Saudi-led alliance started bombing Yemen in late March to restore the country’s fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and repel Houthis, who took control of the capital Sana’a in September and forced Hadi and his government into exile in Riyadh.

In a setback to the Houthis, forces loyal to Hadi retook Aden last month and seized the key airbase of Al-Anad to its north on Tuesday.

Military sources said at least 22 people, mostly returning civilians, have been killed since Thursday by explosions of mines in Aden and Lahij.

Peter Mauer, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, arrived Saturday in Sana’a at the start of a three-day visit to assess the “dire humanitarian situation” in the country.