At least 27 Houthis killed in clashes with Yemeni army

            By Gulsen Topcu</p>  <p>ANKARA (AA) - At least 27 Houthi rebels were killed in clashes with the Yemeni army in southeastern Al-Bayda province, local media reported Thursday.</p>  <p>National army forces backed by popular resistance groups launched an operation after Houthis attempted to carry out an attack in Az Zahir district, according to the Ministry of Defense’s official website September Net.</p>  <p>The website didn’t provide information on the number of injured.</p>  <p>The Houthi militia announced Thursday that they had released 15 captives, according to SABA News Agency.</p>  <p>Al-Bayda Governor Ali Mohammad Al Mansouri said the release was carried out “to strengthen the values ​​of love and tolerance”.</p>  <p>Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.</p>  <p>The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.</p>  <p>The ongoing conflict has wrecked much of the impoverished country’s basic infrastructure, prompting the UN to describe the situation there as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.</p>  <p>*Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur</p>  <p> 

Houthi rebels register gains in southern Yemen: Source

                             By Murad al-Arifi</p>    <p>SANAA (AA) – The Houthi rebel group has made significant gains in Yemen’s Al-Dali and Al-Bayda provinces following clashes with government forces, a pro-government source said Wednesday.</p>  <p>“The Houthis have taken the Dhoran region a day after overrunning wide swathes of the Al-Hashaa directorate [in Al-Dali province],” the source told Anadolu Agency anonymously due to restrictions on speaking to media.</p>    <p>According to the source, the Houthis are now fighting pro-government forces in the Al-Hashaa directorate’s Al-Masharih district.</p>    <p>The Houthis, the source went on to note, had also captured the strategic Al-Awd region in the Qatabah directorate (located east of Al-Hashaa) after several pro-government officers defected to the rebel group.</p>    <p>In Yemen’s central Al-Bayda province, meanwhile, the Houthis managed to capture the Dhi Naim directorate -- for the first time since 2015 -- after days of clashes with pro-government forces, the source said.</p>    <p>According to Houthi-run media outlets, the rebel group has recently succeeded in capturing 20 strategic positions across the Dhi Naim directorate.</p>    <p>Yemen has been wracked by violence since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.</p>    <p>The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains. </p>    <p>The ongoing conflict has wrecked much of the impoverished country’s basic infrastructure, prompting the UN to describe the situation there as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

At least 36 Houthi rebels killed in Yemen clashes

By Gulsen Topcu

AL-BAYDA, Yemen (AA) – At least 36 Houthi rebels were killed and 50 others injured in the clashes between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels on Sunday.

The clashes erupted in al-Malagim district in central al-Bayda province and no information was given as to the loss of army forces, the Yemeni military said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Al-Bayda province has been witnessing gun battles between army units and Houthis over the last few months.

Clashes between government forces and the rebels began weeks ago as government troops have been attempting to advance to the city center from many fronts.

In the city of Midi in Yemen’s northwestern Hajjah province, government forces detonated 5,151 mines and explosives planted by a Saudi-led military coalition in the last three months.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

At least 40 killed in Yemen clashes

By Gulsen Topcu

MARIB, Yemen (AA) – Clashes between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels have left at least 40 dead, the military said Thursday.

The clashes erupted in Al-Malajim district of Al-Bayda town when government troops supported by Saudi-led coalition forces launched an operation to free the district from Houthi rebels, the Yemeni military said in a statement.

Fifteen soldiers and 25 Houthis were killed.

The statement noted that government forces made progress in the operation and were able to advance 18 kilometers (11 miles) to Affar, a strategic point on the Houthi’s supply route.

An unknown number of soldiers were also wounded in the area when mines placed by the rebels were detonated, the statement said.

Clashes between government forces and the rebels began weeks ago as government troops have been attempting to advance to the city center from many fronts.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

6 Houthis killed in skirmish with army in central Yemen

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – Six Houthi rebels were killed fighting army troops in Yemen’s central Al-Bayda province on Monday, according to a local official.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency by phone, Mossad al-Salahi, general director of Al-Bayda’s Nati directorate, said army troops and pro-government “popular resistance” forces had opened fire on a Houthi patrol with rocket launchers.

“The ambush resulted in the death of six Houthi rebels,” al-Salahi said, going on to note that the Nati directorate had recently seen fierce artillery exchanges between government forces and Houthi rebels.

He did not provide any more details.

Houthi spokesmen, for their part, have yet to confirm the official’s assertions.

Yemen has been wracked by chaos since 2014, when the Shia Houthis overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa, forcing the Saudi-backed government to set up an interim capital in the coastal city of Aden.

The conflict escalated one year later when a Saudi-led coalition began a wide-ranging military campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

Yemen army retakes strategic plateau from Houthi rebels

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – The Yemeni army and pro-government “popular resistance” forces on Tuesday recaptured a strategic plateau from Houthi rebels in Yemen’s central Al-Bayda province, according to a local official.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency by phone, Mosaad al-Salahi, director-general of Al-Bayda’s Nati Directorate, said that Yemeni forces had wrested control of the strategic Al-Kataf Mountain region.

During the operation, government forces killed at least two Houthi snipers, he said, going on to note that the strategic plateau overlooked a number of villages in the directorate.

“Most of Nati Directorate is now under government control,” al-Salahi said.

Houthi spokesmen, for their part, have yet to confirm the official’s assertions.

Yemen has remained dogged by conflict since 2014, when the Shia Houthi militia overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a wide-ranging military campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains and shoring up Yemen’s Saudi-backed government.

Libya’s eastern govt orders arrest of Tobruk mayor

By Walid Abdullah

TRIPOLI, Libya (AA) – Libya’s eastern-based government issued a warrant late Wednesday for the arrest of Naji Mazeq, mayor of the city of Tobruk, which is home to a legislative assembly linked to the government.

According to local media reports, the warrant was issued due to Mazeq’s suspected “dealings with” a rival UN-backed “unity government” based in capital Tripoli.

The eastern government, based in the coastal city of Al-Bayda (265 kilometers west of Tobruk), issued the warrant for Mazeq’s arrest after officials from Tobruk’s municipal council met with Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, who currently heads up the Tripoli government, according to a statement released by the latter’s office.

Speaking to local media, Mazeq voiced his “surprise” over Wednesday’s arrest warrant, which was reportedly issued by the eastern government’s Interior Ministry.

Mazeq told Libya’s Bawabat al-Wasat website that Tobruk’s municipal council had contacted officials in Tripoli “with a view to resolving grievances suffered by Tobruk residents after the [Al-Bayda-based] government had failed to do so”.

On Sunday, Abdullah al-Thani, prime minister of the Al-Bayda government, ordered the arrest of all local officials found dealing with the government in Tripoli.

Libya has remained in political limbo since 2011, when a bloody uprising led to the ouster and death of longstanding President Muammar Gaddafi after more than four decades in power.

The ensuing political vacuum led to the emergence of several rival power centers and competing seats of government and a host of heavily-armed militia groups.

Yemen voices ‘reservations’ over last week’s raid by US

By Zakaria al-Kamaali

SANAA, Yemen (AA) – The Yemeni government has conveyed its “reservations” to Washington over last week’s raid by U.S. army forces in Yemen’s southern Al-Bayda province, a government source told Anadolu Agency.

The source, speaking anonymously due to the subject’s sensitivity, said Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi had asked the U.S. administration for “prior consultation” with Yemeni officials before future U.S. military operations are conducted on Yemeni territory.

“Coordination with the U.S. in fighting terrorism remains ongoing,” the source said. “And it is being conducted at the highest level.”

“Our reservations pertain to the recent [U.S. military] operation carried out in Al-Bayda, which left a number of civilians and children dead,” the source added.

The source made the assertions after The New York Times ran a report on Wednesday alleging that, following last week’s raid in Al-Bayda, Yemen had withdrawn permission from the U.S. military to conduct anti-terrorism operations on Yemeni territory.

Last Sunday, at least 40 people were reportedly killed in a raid by U.S. army personnel that targeted suspected Al-Qaeda leaders in southern Yemen.

Among the raid’s civilian casualties was the daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, a senior Al-Qaeda leader killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011.

According to the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), one U.S. serviceman died of wounds sustained during the raid while three others were injured.

The raid in Al-Bayda was the first overseas military operation ordered by newly-inaugurated U.S. President Donald Trump.

Washington frequently employs unmanned aerial drones to hunt down Al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen, which since 2014 has remained in a state of war between the Shia Houthi group and the country’s Saudi-backed government.

44 killed in Yemen violence

By Murad al-Arifi, Tawfiq Ali and Ali Owaida

SANAA (AA) – At least 44 people have been killed in a new wave of deadly clashes between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces across war-torn Yemen.

Battles broke out on Saturday in Nahm district, east of Sanaa, in which 19 Houthi militants were killed and scores injured, pro-government commander Abdullah al-Shandaqi said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.

“Three government forces were killed in the violence,” he said.

According to al-Shanqadi, pro-government forces have managed to capture the Mobdia village and Bani Bariq mountains from Houthi rebels during the confrontations.

Eleven Houthis and allied forces were also killed on Saturday and 17 others injured in clashes with government forces in the southwestern Taiz province.

Six pro-government fighters were also injured in the violence, according to a statement by the pro-government forces.

In a related development, four civilians were killed and ten others injured in a Houthi shelling of western Taiz on Saturday.

Meanwhile, seven Houthi militants were killed in an attack by government forces on their vehicle in the southern al-Bayda’ province.

Yemen has been wracked by chaos since late 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country.

The conflict escalated in March of last year when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a major air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi gains and supporting Yemen’s Saudi-backed government.

Pro-govt forces, Houthis trade fire in Yemen’s Al-Bayda

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – Pro-government forces and the Shia Houthi militia on Monday exchanged artillery fire in Yemen’s central Al-Bayda province, according to a pro-government source.

Abdul Bari al-Humaikani, a spokesman for the pro-government “popular resistance”, alleged that Houthi militants had shelled residential parts of Al-Bayda’s Az-Zahir Directorate held by pro-government forces.

“Popular resistance fighters responded to Houthi shelling with artillery and heavy weapons,” al-Humaikani told Anadolu Agency by phone, without mentioning whether the shelling had resulted in casualties.

Anadolu Agency, however, was unable to confirm the assertions from either pro-Houthi or independent sources.

For the last two years, the Houthis and their allies have remained in control of most of Al-Bayda, which continues to be the site of deadly on-again, off-again clashes between the Shia militia group and forces loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Yemen has been dogged by insecurity since late 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing President Hadi and his Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.

In March of last year, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive campaign aimed at reversing Houthi military gains in Yemen and restoring Hadi’s embattled government.

Two rounds of earlier peace talks have failed to end the conflict, in which thousands of Yemenis have been killed and at least 2.5 million forced to flee their homes.