Clashes between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels have left at least 40 dead, the military said Thursday, Anadolu reports.
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 centre 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”.