Al Mukalla: Heavy shelling by Iran-backed Al Houthi fighters killed two women in Yemen’s city of Taiz on Sunday as government forces escalate attacks against the rebels in the eastern parts of the city.
Local media reports said that the first woman was killed when an artillery shell fired by Al Houthis exploded inside her house in the eastern city.
Al Masdar Online, an independent news site, said that Al Houthi sniper gunned down the second woman at the western entrance of the city. Fighting has escalated in Taiz, Yemen’s third largest city, when government forces earlier this month launched an offensive aimed at recapturing strategic locations on the eastern edges of the city and ease more than two years of Al Houthi siege.
Army commanders who spoke to the Gulf News say that their forces, with the help of air cover from the Saudi-led coalition, are now having the upper hand in the battlefield and the rebel forces are confined to a few neighbourhoods in the eastern parts of the city.
The city’s presidential palace, Al Tashrefat military camp and other military locations have recently fell to government forces after heavy battle with Al Houthis. Al Houthis fully control the northern and southern suburbs of the city.
Local right groups have blamed Al Houthis for arbitrarily bombarding heavily populated districts that claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians.
Meanwhile on major fronts, clashes continued between government forces and Al Houthi fighters backed by army units loyal to the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The Ministry of Defence said on Monday that fighters jets and helicopters from the Saudi-led coalition bombed Al Houthi fighters positions in Medi and Haradh districts in the northern province of Hajja which enabled Yemeni government and Sudanese forces to regained control of a valley and other locations. Heavy clashes were also reported in the province of Shabwa, Marib, Dhale and Saada.
The ministry’s official news site also reported that coalition’s fighter jets heavily hit military camps controlled by Al Houthis in the capital, triggered large explosions. The Saudi-led coalition has been bombing military sites in Sana’a where ballistic missiles and ammunition are storied.
In the south, the chief security of Dhale province, Brigadier Obaid Mohammad Al Quaiti, escaped an assassination attempt in southern Dhale when his convoy came under fire attack. Local security sources said that the security official was unhurt and five of his bodyguards were injured.