Yemeni government forces travel near Hodeida. Image Credit: September Net

Cairo: Seventy-five Iran-allied Al Houthi militiamen were killed in a series of air strikes by an Arab alliance and fighting with the government forces in the port city of Hodeida, military sources said Sunday.

An “elaborate” coalition air raid targeted a meeting of Al Houthi commanders in the Red Sea city and killed at least 15 of them and injured others, sources in the pro-government forces, the Giants Battalions said.

Coalition jets, meanwhile, targeted the militants’ positions and reinforcements in the district of Al Durayhimi south of Hodeida, leaving more than 30 Al Houthis dead, they said.

Fierce clashes also raged between the Giants Brigades and Al Houthi militias on the outskirts of Al Durayhimi, killing 30 more extremists.

The fighting erupted after Al Houthis made an attempt to infiltrate the government forces’ positions in the area, according to the sources.

In recent weeks, government forces, supported by the coalition’s air power, have intensified their bombardment of Al Houthi rebels in and around Hodeida, which has been under the militants’ control since October 2014.

Hodeida in western Yemen is strategically important because of its harbour, which is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, as most of the commercial imports and relief supplies enter through it to the country.

The coalition accuses Al Houthis of taking advantage of their control of the port to obtain weapons from their Iranian patrons as well as confiscate aid intended for Yemenis in order to sustain their war efforts.

Education Minister Abdullah Lamlas said Sunday that more than one million Yemeni children have not been able to attend school because of the war.

“The war waged by Al Houthi militia has resulted in destructive effects on the educational system in Yemen,” he told a gathering in Tunisia, according to the news portal Adan Al Ghad.

Nearly 3,600 schools have been closed since the start of the war, according to Lamlas.

“Nearly 2,000 [more] elementary schools have been damaged or converted into fortifications by Al Houthi militia,” he added.