Deadly clashes in Yemen’s Taez amid airstrikes

Smoke billows during an air strike on the Republican Palace in Yemen's southwestern city of Taez. (Reuters)

At least 27 people were killed in the Yemeni city of Taez in clashes between loyalist forces and rebels as well as Saudi-led coalition air raids, medical sources told Agence France-Presse on Saturday.

Residents said the city in southwest Yemen was rocked by explosions and gunfire overnight as the coalition-backed forces of President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi battled Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and militias of the deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Nineteen rebels, four soldiers of a mechanized army unit loyal to the president and four other pro-Hadi fighters were killed, a medical source told AFP.

Hadi fled to Saudi Arabia last month as the Houthis closed in on his refuge in the southern city of Aden, having advanced from their stronghold in northern Yemen last year to seize the capital Sanaa.

The Saudi-led coalition had launched more than 100 air sorties in 24 hours against “specified” Houthi targets, coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said on Friday.

Asiri said the air operations “are specified and selected to paralyze the Houthi movements and their supporters,” according to statements carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

He also said "the Houthi militias are carrying out implemented sabotage operations harming citizens and public institutions.”

The spokesman made the remarks during his daily press briefing in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

He added that security operations are ongoing in Yemen’s Houthi stronghold city of Saada, to ensure the safety of the kingdom’s southern borders.

"There are movements of the Houthi militias on the southern borders. The air strikes are targeted their sites and gatherings in addition to ammunition stores and fuel sites in order to prevent any action that could threaten the southern borders," Asiri added.

[With AFP]

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:47 - GMT 06:47