Houthi rebels suffer heavy casualties in fighting in western Yemen

Source: Xinhua| 2018-02-13 21:22:54|Editor: Jiaxin
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ADEN, Yemen, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- More than 41 fighters of the Shiite Houthi group were killed and nearly 50 others injured during the past 24 hours of fighting in Yemen's western coast areas near Hodeidah Province, local sources told Xinhua.

"More than 41 dead bodies of the Houthi fighters and nearly 50 injured arrived at the medical center during the past 24 hours," sources at a military hospital said.

The government forces, backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), made a significant progress during the ongoing fighting with the Iranian-backed Houthis on the outskirts of Hodeidah.

"In brief, the Saudi-backed government forces are winning while the Houthis are losing the battle on the western coast," the military source said on conditional of anonymity.

"The Houthi fighters are withdrawing and apparently preparing themselves to flee the battleground," the military official added.

The UAE-backed Yemeni troops will continue with their massive military campaign aimed at liberating the whole port city of Hodeidah from Houthis' control, the source noted.

Yemen's internationally-backed government, allied with the Saudi-led Arab military coalition, has been battling Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels over the control of the country for about three years.

The coalition began a military air campaign in March 2015 to roll back Houthi gains and reinstate exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government to the power.

The coalition also imposed air and sea blockade to prevent weapons from reaching Houthis, who had invaded the capital Sanaa militarily and seized most of the northern Yemeni provinces.

UN statistics show more than 10,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed since the coalition intervened in the Yemeni civil war that also displaced around three million.

The impoverished Arab country is also suffering the world's largest cholera epidemic since last April, with about 5,000 cases reported every day.