Cairo: Yemeni government forces have cut off a main supply route for Al Houthis after fierce battles against the Iran-aligned extremists in their stronghold of Saada, the army said.

Supported by an Arab air alliance, the Yemeni forces made territorial gains in Baqem, a key district of the far northern province near the Saudi border, the army’s official website reported.

The advance allowed the army troops to block a major route to Baqem, previously used by the militants to bring in supplies into the district, according to the report.

During the battles that took place on Saturday, Al Houthis suffered heavy casualties and losses in military hardware, forcing survivors to retreat, the army said.

In recent months, Yemeni forces, supported by the Arab coalition, have stepped up a multi-front campaign inside Saada, the hometown of several leading Al Houthis.

Yemen’s conflict erupted after Al Houthis unseated the internationally recognised government and overran parts of the country, including the capital Sana’a, in late 2014.

In March, 2015, the Arab alliance led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, intervened in Yemen in response to a request from the government after Al Houthis advanced on the southern city of Aden, the country’s provisional capital.