At least 37 killed in clashes in Yemen’s Taiz

Fierce clashes between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemeni president claim at least 37 lives, injuring 71 others in city of Taiz

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Houthi fighters take up position on a street during clashes near the Presidential Palace in Sanaa January 19, 2015

At least 37 people were killed and 71 other were injured in clashes between the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the country’s third largest city Taiz on Sunday, Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported.

According to local sources 26 Houthi rebels were killed and 33 other were injured, while 11 pro-government forces were killed and 38 injured.

The city of Taiz has witnessed fierce clashes recently between the Houthis and forces loyal to the President Hadi.

Over the weekend the Houthi rebels launched a missile attack at a civilian area in the region, killing at least 15 people, including children and women, according to local sources.

In retaliation for the latest attacks by the Houthis, the Saudi-led coalition forces conducted air strikes on a base held by the rebels in the city of Shabwah.

The joint-force announced at that least eight Houthi rebels were killed in the air strikes and that another 14 were injufred, with vehicles and other military equipment destroyed.

Saudi Arabian fighter jets started bombing Houthi rebel targets on March 25 after announcing a coalition comprised of 10 countries to intervene in the escalating sectarian crisis which has gripped the country.

In a joint statement, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates said they "have decided to answer the call of President Hadi to protect Yemen and its people from the aggression of the Houthi militia."

The clashes between the Houthi fighters and soldiers loyal to President Hadi, who is also backed by the United States, continues to increase and humanitarian concerns are also on the rise for Yemeni people.

The United Nations has declared the situation in Yemen to be a level-three humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale, after about 80 percent of the country’s population fell into dire need of humanitarian aid.

Twenty million people in the country are in need of aid, 13 million are facing food shortages and 9.4 million are having difficulties accessing drinking water.

At least 40,000 civilians have been killed since the coalition began its bombing campaign in support of the exiled government in last March, and at least 1.3 million have been forced to flee their homes during the conflict.


TRTWorld and agencies