Creating new perspectives since 2009

Yemen's Houthis take provincial capital

June 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Houthi Shia militants and forces loyal to former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh have seized control of Al-Hazm, district capital of the north-western province of Al-Jawf.

Al-Jawf borders Saudi Arabia, which is leading airstrikes against the Houthi rebels.

Civilians in Al-Hazm told Anadolu Agency on Sunday that Houthi militants and pro-Saleh forces had seized control of a governmental complex and a military camp after intense clashes with pro-Hadi forces.

The area has witnessed severe clashes in the past few days.

Elsewhere, 15 Shia Houthi militants and two fighters loyal to Yemen’s exiled president have been killed in clashes in the eastern province of Marib.

A commander of the pro-Hadi Popular Resistance forces told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity “that fierce clashes took place after Houthi fighters had snuck into Al-Mashgah area which is controlled by the resistance”.

Sunday’s violence saw two “resistance fighters” killed and three others injured, he claimed.

Marib is an oil and natural-gas-rich province which provides other cities, including the capital Sanaa, with electricity.

Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi was elected president of Yemen in 2012, before being ousted by the Houthis last September.

Meanwhile, a Saudi-led military coalition launched two airstrikes on Sunday against Houthi positions in the capital, according to eyewitnesses.

“Coalition forces launched an airstrike on an army ammunition depository which is controlled by Houthis,” eyewitnesses said.

Another airstrike was launched on Houthi controlled Al-Hafa camp in eastern Sanaa, sources added.

Smoke was seen from the shelled positions; no casualties have been reported.

On March 25, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive air campaign targeting Houthi positions across the country.