ADEN, Yemen, May 5 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni government forces on Sunday pushed up large military reinforcements to the war-torn southern province of al-Dhalea, where fierce fighting is taking place with the Houthi rebels, according to local government sources.
A government source said on condition of anonymity that large military reinforcements of the government forces coming from the southern city of Aden, arrived in the province of al-Dhalea, located 245 km south of Sanaa.
He said that the military reinforcements included hundreds of well-trained soldiers backed by dozens of different armored vehicles and tanks.
Yemen's Information Minister Muammar Iryani said in a statement posted on Twitter that "according to presidential directives, military reinforcements from the Presidential Protection forces arrived in al-Dhalea to participate in strengthening the front."
"The military campaign included battalions of various brigades of the Presidential Protection forces equipped with several types of medium and heavy weapons," he clarified.
He pointed out that the military reinforcements "will contribute to changing the balance of the ongoing battle, and strengthen the role of the army in confronting and defeating the Houthi militia."
Local residents told Xinhua that fighting heavily escalated amid intensified airstrikes conducted by the Saudi-led warplanes to support the government forces in the fighting against Houthis in different areas of al-Dhalea.
On Friday, pro-government forces fought fierce battles and succeeded in regaining control over the strategic Ellal camp and the main headquarters of the special forces in Qataba district in al-Dhalea province.
Intense battles between the Houthi fighters and pro-government forces are still ongoing in the northern areas of al-Dhalea province, leaving casualties on both sides, according to local officials.
Last month, scores of Houthi fighters launched a series of intense armed attacks on the positions of government forces and succeeded in seizing the district of Al Husha in the west of al-Dhalea.
The areas in the north and west of the government-controlled province of al-Dhalea have been witnessing continuous fighting between government forces and Houthi fighters for four years.
Yemen has been plagued by a civil war since late 2014 after Houthi rebels revolted and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.