Al Mukalla: Yemen president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi has refused to meet the UN envoy to Yemen in protest to his latest peace plan that suggests stripping him of his authority in return for an Al Houthi withdrawal from main cities, two close aides to Hadi told Gulf News on Thursday.

Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad has recently presented a new peace plan proposing that the internationally-recognised president pass his powers to a new vice president and Al Houthis withdraw from cities and hand over arms to a third party.

An disturbed Hadi warned the UN envoy against “rewarding” Al Houthis for overthrowing him from power in early 2015.

The aide, who wanted to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity this issue, said that Hadi declined Ould Shaikh Ahmad’s request for a meeting to brief him on his latest discussions with Al Houthis and supporters of ousted Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana’a.

Saudi media outlets reported on Tuesday that Mohammad Bin Salman, deputy crown prince, met with the UN envoy and expressed support with his efforts to strike a deal between warring factions in Yemen to end the 20-month conflict.

Also in Riyadh, Hadi continues to lobby civilian and military supporters against the plan.

He has met with a number of senior government officials who thrown their support behind Hadi in the face of diplomatic pressure to accept the UN peace plan, the state run Saba news agency said on Thursday.

Meanwhile on the ground, government forces on Thursday battled Al Houthis and renegade army units loyal to Saleh on several battlefields in Taiz, Hajja, Marib, and Shabwa and Jawf as Saudi-led Arab coalition fighter jets heavily bombed rebel military sites in some Red Sea cities.

The fiercest clashes occurred on Wednesday and Thursday in the southern province of Taiz where government forces killed at least 13 Al Houthis in different locations.

After suffering heavy casualties, rebel forces shelled the city with mortar, canons and heavy gun machines.

Four government soldiers were killed and several civilians were injured in the shelling.

In the northern province of Jawf, Abdullah Al Ashraf, a spokesperson for resistance fighters in Jawf, said that coalition’s fighter jets destroyed Al Houthi military equipment killing a number of their fighters at a farm in Al Metoun district.

Government forces in Jawf have intensified their attacks to expel Al Houthis from their strongholds in the province.