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HomeMiddle EastYemen clashes kill 18 opponents in contemporary flare-up: army officers

Yemen clashes kill 18 opponents in contemporary flare-up: army officers

At least 18 combatants have been killed in battles between Yemeni government forces and Iran-backed Huthi rebels in the country’s southwest, two military officials told AFP on Thursday.

The clashes on Wednesday were triggered by a Huthi attack on a frontline area between government-controlled parts of Lahij governorate and Huthi-run parts of Taez province, said Mohammed al-Naqib, a spokesperson for the Southern Transitional Council, a separatist group allied with the government.

The attack came despite a lull in fighting that has largely held since the expiry of a six-month truce brokered by the United Nations in April 2022.

Yemeni government “forces succeeded in repelling the attack, but five soldiers were martyred and others wounded”, Naqib told AFP.

A Huthi military official in Taez told AFP that 13 rebels, including a senior commander, were also killed in the fighting.

Yemen’s internationally-recognised government condemned the Huthi offensive as a “treacherous attack”.

In a statement on social media platform X on Wednesday, Information Minister Moammar al-Eryani said the counterattack by Yemeni government forces “inflicted heavy losses on (Huthi) militia members”, without specifying a toll.

While hostilities have remained low, sporadic fighting has occasionally flared in parts of the country.

In April, a surprise Huthi attack killed 11 fighters loyal to the Yemeni government in Lahij province.

The Huthis seized control of Yemen’s capital Sanaa in 2014, prompting a Saudi-led military intervention the following year.

Nine years of war have left hundreds of thousands dead through direct and indirect causes, and triggered one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

In December, the UN envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said warring parties had committed to a new ceasefire and agreed to engage in a UN-led peace process to end the conflict.

But the peace process has stalled in the wake of Huthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea since November, a campaign the rebels say is meant to signal solidarity with Palestinians amid the Gaza war.

Eryani accused the Huthis of exploiting the Gaza war to amass fighters, weapons and resources to boost their capabilities on the home front.


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