Women loyal to the Houthi movement hold rifles as they take part in a parade to show support to the movement in Sanaa, Yemen September 7, 2016.(REUTERS Photo)
SANAA, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's dominant Shiite Houthi rebels said Saturday that they have killed a top commander in pro-government forces in Marib province, east of the capital Sanaa, Houthi-controlled Saba news agency reported.
"Major-General Abdel-Rab al-Shadadi, commander of Third Military Region in Marib, was killed late on Friday in a unique military operation after artillery unit pinpointed his location," Saba quoted a statement by Houthi military source as saying.
Al-Shadadi had led forces loyal to internationally recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against the rebel Houthis and their allied forces of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh since the civil war broke out in 2015.
Hadi's government admitted the loss of al-Shadadi in a statement.
Houthis, backed by Saleh's loyal forces, stormed the capital Sanaa in September 2014, fighting against what they called a corrupt government.
They seized Sanaa and much parts of the country's north, forcing Hadi and his government to flee into exile.
The Saudi-led coalition launched a military air campaign against Houthis and Saleh's forces on March 26, 2015 to restore Hadi to power and recapture the capital.
The coalition's airstrikes and ground battles have since killed over 10,000 Yemenis, mostly children and women, injuring around 35,000 others and displacing three million others, according to UN reports.